This Saturday 19th September signified the Global Coastal Clean-up day across the world. Thousands of volunteers participated in scanning the beaches for debris that should not be there and are harmful to our oceans.
Nature’s Valley Trust (NVT) hosted two events on the garden route to support the global campaign and to collect data from our corner of the world. Plettenburg Bay’s Lookout beach and Nature’s Valleys own beach front were combed for debris. Both beaches are valuable to the local economy during the summer season and these garden route towns are very proud to participate and maintain their beaches for everyone to use. I should point out that these beaches are well maintained and cared for.
Brittany has been working hard over the last 2 days to compile our data so we can identify our haul.
Also found along with 7877 plastic pieces were dead birds, a dead shark, a car tire, fishing rods etc.
The scary thing about the collection is that according to the Ocean Conservancy who compiles and collects the data globally, despite the annual cleanup and the band of communities that work hard to retain an environmentally friendly beach we have potentially 12 million tonnes of waste entering our oceans annually.
Everyone understands that a waste free sea is vital to the future of tourism, recreation, the economy not to mention the impact on the wildlife and the livelihoods of those whom depend on a health ocean to bring in food. We are what we Eat!
Unfortunately, while we see dirty beaches and items floating on the ocean’s surface it is just the tip of the iceberg. Much more lies unseen beneath the surface and far away on the open water — but that doesn’t make it any less important.
How do we stop endangering the life’s of Dolphins, turtles and fish, ruining our beaches and economies?
The waste needs to be stopped at source and this falls directly at our feet. Our everyday choices with litter can help keep our oceans clean!
It all starts with participation from the community and education of all generations. NVT and several local campaigners are making some great strides with this. NVT run an Adopt-a-Beach program that is being rolled out to all the Grade 7 students in the area. After all change can only be effective if:
- People are empowered and are working to take concrete action to protect the area.
- People are educated on the choices that they make daily that impact the environment and they have understanding of local waste processes.
- Engaging people in the solution building from local leaders, governments, environmentalists, businesses.
- Promote good policies and follow up on their success or adjustments.
We should remain affected by images like the below to continue to take action and do great things for the future generations.