Our story

The Beach Co-op was born from our desire to do something for the ocean that gives us so much. In 2015, a group of volunteers started gathering at Surfers Corner in Muizenberg to clean waste, much of it plastic, that was accumulating along the rocky shoreline. This impromptu movement has grown into a dedicated non-profit organisation on a mission to build ocean communities that care.

A group of people amongst rocks on a beach doing a clean up.
Our vision

We work collaboratively and creatively within ocean communities and with government and business to urgently protect, restore and regenerate the integrity of ocean ecosystems.

Our mission

Our mission is to effectively connect people, institutions and organisations through evidence-based education and experiential learning to keep South Africa’s beaches clean and healthy and to protect and enhance ocean health.

OUR TEAM

A DEDICATED ALL-WOMEN TEAM WITH EXPERIENCE IN BOTH ACADEMIA AND ADVOCACY

Aaniyah Omardien

Founder & Director

Aaniyah focuses on work that connects people and nature. She worked for WWF SA from 2001 to 2010, where she helped start and eventually managed WWF’s Marine Programme. Alongside her Beach Co-op work, she consulted to WWF SA, where her task was to deliver research work related to consumer and restaurant engagement with single-use plastics.

AANIYAH OMARDIEN,

FOUNDER & DIRECTOR

Name

Operation Manager

Megan-Rose Francis is a conservationist with a keen interest in and love for the marine environment. This passion has led her to volunteer at a range of organisations such as the Two Oceans Aquarium, I Am Water Ocean Conservation and The Beach Co-op that work to raise awareness in coastal communities of the beauty of our marine world, and the importance of protecting it. Megan-Rose’s experience working for these types of organisations has made her an invaluable member of our team, and a resourceful and informed advocate for protecting our oceans. She loves sharing her knowledge and experience with others.

MEGAN-ROSE FRANCIS,

OPERATION MANAGER

Dr Ffion Atkins

Data & Research

Ffion is a postdoctoral researcher with a current focus on the relationships between our urban landscape and the flows of resources such as water, nitrogen and plastic. She has a PhD in Oceanography and has worked in urban groundwater and watershed management as a consultant and researcher on various projects funded by the City of Cape Town and the Water Research Commission. She has also worked as a commercial diver, deckhand and data scientist. Ffion has been with the Beach Co-op on a part time basis since January 2021 and seems to be enjoying the ride immensely.

DR FFION ATKINS,

DATA & RESEARCH

Blue watercolour brush stroke illustration.

Directors and Advisory Team

STEFANIE SWANEPOEL
STRATEGY & PLANNING

MARIA HONIG
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

DR PETER RYAN
SCIENTIFIC ADVISOR