Going beyond a beach cleanup for International Coastal Cleanup Day 2020!
”I took part in a beach cleanup at Harmony Park, Strand. We picked up lots of dirt like plastic, sweet wrappers and mostly lollipop sticks. After the cleanup we had two marine scientists, Nasreen and Nelson, show us different marine life. We saw anemones, sea urchins, chitons and octopus! We saw lots of crabs and sea snails too. We went snorkelling in the tidal pool … and had to put on wetsuits and goggles with snorkels attached to them at the sides. … We saw a few more sea urchins under the water and sea sponges. We also saw tiny little fish swimming around. After we finished snorkelling, we all sat down to eat and we just sat and talked. It was lots of fun and I hope to do it again some time.Ameerah IsaacsCTEET learner, Harmony Park, Strand cleanup
On Saturday, 19 September 2020 communities around the world came together to collect waste along their coastlines. More than 40 registered cleanups took place In Cape Town and the Overberg region, of which 30 were open to the public. International Coastal Cleanup Day is one of the world’s biggest ocean volunteer events. Because of COVID-19 regulations, events were limited to 50 people with safety protocols were in place.
In South Africa cleanup leaders were given the option of using The Beach Co-op’s (TBC)#DirtyDozen methodology or Ocean Conservancy’s datasheet to collect data. We encouraged people to make use of the Marine Debris Tracker app for data collection as our #DirtyDozen method is listed on the tracker. This app is perfect for people who want to do their own cleanups and contribute to citizen science. More than 44 000 items were collected during cleanups and registered on the app.
This year TBC partnered with Argonaut Science and the City of Cape Town to host a cleanup followed by a rocky shore ecology experience for some of the learners from CTEET. In just over an hour, our team of volunteers collected more than 35kg of litter from the Harmony Park coastline and the top three Dirty Dozen items collected were lollipop sticks (706), individual sweet wrappers (378) and cooldrink lids (176).
Coastal cleanups are a great way for people to experience the impact that they have on our environment and to realise that all of us can make changes in the way we live to have less impact on the earth. The ocean provides us with many vital resources, and we need to do all that we can to protect it. As consumers we have the power to ensure that large companies rethink the way that they package products by demanding those that have the least amount of single-use plastic packaging and through encouraging companies to design with a circular economy in mind.
After the cleanup, Dr Nasreen Peer and Dr Nelson Miranda of Argonaut Science took the group of CTEET learners for immersive science experience along the rocky shore. The learners were taught about being a field scientist, how to use field guides, how to collect data and the importance of science. The learners put all that they learned to the test while exploring the rock pools and snorkelling in the tidal pool.
”I am so glad I was able to get the opportunity to snorkel for the very first time. When we got to Harmony Park scientists from Argonaut Science walked around the beach and we all looked around the rock pools and learnt about the different small animals and even saw an Octopus! Afterwards we all got into wetsuits and put on snorkels with goggles … The best part was when we all went under the cold water and looked around … at the different shelled creatures and small fish. It was such an awesome experience!Hannah MosesCTEET learner
The collaboration with Argonaut Science is part of TBC’s community outreach programme with the City of Cape Town to bring awareness to our beautiful and richly biodiverse tidal pools. This project aims to raise awareness about the “locals” that reside in the tidal pools as well as the important ecosystems found in these pools, which were created as safe space for people to swim, without fear of sharks and strong rip currents.
You don’t need to be part of a hosted cleanup to contribute to our #DirtyDozenCleanup™ Download the Marine Debris Tracker App and make use of our list to log the items of litter you collect while going for a walk on the coast or inland. Every day is International Coastal Cleanup Day!