By Dr Lorien Pichegru
Institute for Coastal and Marine Research NMMU
Despite the buckets of rain in PE on International Coastal Clean Up day, Saturday the 17th of September, thanks to the incredible efforts of many volunteers, including hundreds of school kids and military personnel, we successfully removed well over 11 tons of rubbish from our shores. This waste will not end up entangling or choking wildlife, nor degrade into microplastic lasting hundreds of years. This is fantastic news.
Here is a brief account on the different events that took place in and around PE. Some pictures were posted on the Algoa Bay Hope Spot Facebook page.
On Wednesday 14th September already, WESSA and the Zwartkops Conservancy organised a clean up of the Swartkops river, involving Triomf Primary learners and funded by Coke. They collected 208 kgs of rubbish (45 bags).
On Friday, approximately 120 military personnel joined in the effort and focused on areas along the wild coast, between Cape Recife and the Noordhoek Ski Boat Club. Although we don't have a definite figures of numbers of bags collected, they probably picked at least few hundreds kilos.
That same day, WESSA also organised the clean up of the Baakens river, involving learners from Kwazakele High School, again funded by Coke, who removed 410 kgs of rubbish (80 bags).
An astonishing effort was made by the Zwartkops Conservancy, who involved the Swartkops Primary for the 10th year in a row in cleaning the Zwartkops river. Sponsored by General Motors, PlasticSA and Skipgo, they first lectured 612 pupils about estuaries and pollution before sending them cleaning up the river. They collected over 3.2 tons (over 350 bags) of rubbish! They noted that the amount of rubbish was quite high due to a strike of the metro a few days before, whom did not collect the wastes from the surrounding area.
On Saturday, despite the pouring rain, volunteers pitched up at SAMREC and started cleaning up around Cape Recife. They managed to take out approximately 135 kg (17 bags) of rubbish before being soaked.
On Kings beach, the DA and Woolworth on separate initiatives started the clean up for an hour or so before being chased back home by buckets of water... At least 70 kg of waste were collected, though.
Several clean ups were successfully postponed to Sunday, and between 60 and 70 volunteers pitched up on Bluewater Bay beach that morning, collecting approximately 1.4 tons (250 bags!) of trash. They were sponsored by PlasticSA, with a container supplied by The Waste Trade Co. They had assistance from BWB I-Patrol 4x4s and the Surf Life savers. In the mean time, volunteers from the Noordhoek Ski Boat Club worked on the Wild Coast and took out 300 kg (30 bags). That same day, the Four Wheel Drive Club of Southern Africa drove between van Stadens river mouth and Maitlands river mouth, taking out more than 5 tons of rubbish...
A very very warm thank you to all participants!!
Because of the rain, though, some clean ups were postponed and give additional opportunities to help:
- Schoenies: this Saturday 24th of September, meeting at 9 am in front of Sacramento restaurant. Contact Luc Hosten 072 2654 4073
- The Zwartkops Conservancy Motherwell Enviro Club will be cleaning up the sides of the Motherwell Stormwater Canal (the main source of litter pollution into the Swartkops) this Sat 24/10. Contact: Jenny Rump 082 853 0700.
- Sardinia Bay clean up is planned for Saturday 8th of October. Meeting on the parking lot at 9 am. Gloves and bags will be provided. Contact Kelly Rautenbach 072 511 3328.
- Something Good restaurant, together with Project Nelson Mandela Bay, will organise a clean-up along our beach fronts in the coming weeks and will announce it on the facebook page.
Thanks to Lorien for the wrap.
Remember to pick up at least one piece of trash every time you walk bag up the beach after your surf and dump it in the bin. Not hard to do. Its your beach. Keep it clean.