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National - Event Notice
Tuesday May 13 2014
12:00 PM

Clean Coasts Week - May 9th - 18th May 2014

category national | environment | event notice author Tuesday May 13, 2014 12:59author by 1 of Indymedia Report this post to the editors

Clean Coasts Week is running this week from May 9th - 18th and it is an initiative for people to make a difference by
getting out and lending a hand cleaning up all the trash from our beaches. There are over a hundred separate beach cleanups
taking place around Ireland this week. See the official list of events at: http://www.cleancoastsweek.ie/events.php

Our beaches are a great treasure and place to visit and relax now that the warmer weather is here. At one time our pristine
seas and coastlines made these places natural wonders full of birdlife and marine life but with massive overfishing, pollution
and huge levels of plastic and general trash entering the seas and dumped on our coastlines, it has caused a lot of harm
and destruction to wildlife and to their recreational value. However, we can reverse this process somewhat and the beginning
of this long effort to restore our environment starts with events like Clean Coasts Week and with you.


The main purpose is to clear up the general rubbish found on beaches. This can make a great difference to both how well the place looks and to the wildlife that lives there. Given a choice 100% of people would rather visit a beach for a sunny day out
that is clean over one that is littered with waste like plastic bottles, glass, old barbeques, rope, cans, sanitary towels
and so forth. By getting involved you can transform a beach near you and be pride that you have actually done something worthwhile.

In terms of wildlife, the bits of plastic, bottle tops, plastic rings and so on are to sea-birds potential tasty meals. The
reason is that they have co-existed with the marine environment for millions of years and they have never encountered such
dangerous and toxic material and they are unable to cope with it. The same happens with fish and even crustaceans like
crabs and oysters which will automatically try to injest tiny fragments of plastic ground up by wave action against the rocks
in the sea. Removing all this from a beach and disposing of it properly can and does make a difference.

Please see the list of events on the official Clean Coasts Week website at: http://www.cleancoastsweek.ie/events.php
to register and participate or even initiate your own cleanup.

The Clean Coasts Week is a Europe wide initiative that is taking place across Europe this week.

One of the sponsors is Coca Cola and so they happen to get their name inserted into a lot of places.

Additional Info from the Clean Coasts Week Launch Press Release

What’s new during Coca-Cola Clean Coasts Week 2014?

1. The Marine LitterWatch App – Clean Coasts and the European Environment Agency
Marine litter is recognised as a growing pressure on coastal and marine environments. It has cross border impacts on wildlife and habitats as well as on human activities and health. It is a societal problem that needs our engagement. Reflecting on the need to fill data gaps as well as the aims of involving citizens in environmental issues such as marine litter, the European Environment Agency has developed the Marine LitterWatch app. Clean Coasts will be asking those who participate in Coca-Cola Clean Coasts Week to download the app and record what they collect. Each clean-up will have a unique code to make using the app easier.

2. Let’s Clean Up Europe Day - May 10th
The Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce is the coordinator for Let’s Clean Up Europe Day. Marine litter is entirely due to human activity, and therefore can and has to be controlled by human management. However, one community, one NGO or one country acting in isolation will not be the answer. The problem of marine litter should be addressed collectively across national boundaries and on May 10th Clean Coasts are delighted to be promoting Let’s Clean Up Europe Day.

3. Beat the Microbead Day – May 16th
Clean Coasts will be launching their Beat the Microbead awareness raising initiative on May 16th. Microbeads are tiny particles of plastic are ingredients in thousands of personal care products sold around the world. These microbeads, hardly visible to the naked eye, flow straight from the bathroom drain into the sewage system. Wastewater treatment plants are not designed to filter out microbeads and so they end up in our oceans. Sea creatures absorb or eat microbeads. These microbeads are passed along the marine food chain. Since humans are ultimately at the top of this food chain, it is likely that we are also absorbing microbeads from the food we eat. Microbeads are not biodegradable and once they enter the marine environment, they are impossible to remove. www.beatthemicrobead.org

4. National #2minutebeachclean Day – May 17th
Clean Coasts are delighted to be holding Ireland’s first every National #2minutebeachclean day as part of Coca-Cola Clean Coasts Week. Our aim is to engage as many people as possible in this BIG IMPACT initiative. On May 17th we are asking everyone who goes to the beach whether it’s for a surf, swim or walk to do their very own #2minutebeachclean. Take a snap of the litter collected and post your snap on instagram/twitter/facebook with the tags @cleancoasts #2minutebeachclean. It’s as easy as that and be in with a chance to win a Clean Coasts hoodie!

5. Marine Litter – A Work of Art!
Pick up a piece of marine litter from Cork Harbour and have it included in an international work of art! This event is organised by Clean Coasts and Marlisco Ireland in collaboration with international artist Mandy Barker to highlight the environmental issue of marine litter. During Clean Coasts week (9th- 18th May) there will be a series of beach clean-ups organised around the Cork Harbour area. During these beach cleans, volunteers will be asked to find a piece of litter that they would like included in a series of contemporary photographic art works created by international artist Mandy Barker. Mandy’s pervious work has been exhibited worldwide and has featured in Time magazine. Mandy is undertaking a residency with the Sirius Art Centre in Cobh, County Cork during May. She will produce a series of work highlighting the marine litter issue and your litter item could be a part of her message!

Marine Litter
Approximately 10 million tonnes of litter end up in the world's oceans and seas each year. The term "marine litter" covers a range of materials which have been deliberately discarded, or accidentally lost on shore or at sea, and it includes materials that are carried out to sea from land, rivers, drainage and sewerage systems, or the wind. Every piece of litter removed from the coast is a piece of litter that won't pollute our oceans or harm wildlife. In Ireland approximately 70% of the marine litter found is made of plastic. We must be cognisant of the fact that what we find on our beaches is not the full extent of the marine litter load in the environment. It is estimated that 70% of marine litter is on the seabed, 15% is floating in the water column and 15% is what we find on our shores.

Clean Coasts
Clean Coasts Ireland is owned and operated by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce – the National Trust for Ireland. It is funded by the Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government, Coca-Cola and Fáilte Ireland. It has been operating in Ireland for 11 years and engages 400 Clean Coasts groups and thousands of beach users. The Green Coast award is also part of the Clean Coasts programme and is an award for beaches that have excellent water quality but may not have the necessary built infrastructure to be eligible for the Blue Flag award. www.cleancoasts.org

Related Link: http://www.cleancoastsweek.ie/events.php


author by Tpublication date Tue May 13, 2014 23:56Report this post to the editors

Plastics in the oceans / seas are now a major issue for marine life. There is now so much plastic which has been ground up into tiny pieces that in great swaths of the seas there are more specks of plastic beads than plankton and this is getting into the marine food chain everywhere the world over.

See articles on this website for example

In the photo attached, is the remains of adult with gut full of plastic. Notice the wide variety of bottle caps in this one. With smaller animals, more damage is done by smaller pieces. The plastic goes down the gullet quite easily. But since it is not digested, as in the original plan for all life, it gets stuck before exiting the stomach. There it sits to block the entry and digestion of legitimate food. Even the tiniest of pieces can cause blockages.

albatross photos: Cynthia Vanderlip
albatross photos: Cynthia Vanderlip

author by fredpublication date Wed May 14, 2014 13:05Report this post to the editors

The pacific gyre is a huge rotating mass of degrading plastic
in the pacific. Apparently it is the size of Texas.

Apparently there are up to eight of these gyres.

And I doubt it's all BPA free either!!

author by Tpublication date Wed Jun 18, 2014 21:49Report this post to the editors

Project Aware is an worldwide organisation dedicated to helping conserve underwater environments. They were involved in the coastal cleanup week. They are also involved in a "Dive Against Debris" campaign which removes trash from the seafloor and while the problem is massive, they are at least doing it and no doubt this can be probably an very risk thing to do.

Most recent press release is

Related Link: http://www.projectaware.org
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