Beach Clean Event Leader John Meakin writes his review:
A beach clean event organised by the Looe Marine Conservation Group, so soon after the New Year’s celebrations, we thought might be a hit and miss affair. But what a fantastic turnout!
Never did we expect that in excess of 40 brave souls would ignore the weather that morning to show their interest and support. It was very windy and warm, and started off dry with some light rain after a while which cooled people off but certainly didn’t dampen any spirits! Thank you so much everyone for coming along! The interest and enthusiasm of everyone there was truly inspirational.
With a westerly wind, the sea was calm and we managed to shelter in front of the Coastguard Station for the introduction. The beach itself appeared relatively clean that day but after a bit of poking around, a surprising amount of rubbish was found (two full black bin bags), including a lobster pot, a tennis ball and part of a chair. We gathered some very important data which I’m collating for submission to the Marine Conservation Society, which will contribute powerful evidence to influence government, industry and the public in tackling beach litter at source.
I was struck by everyone’s concern for the huge problem of ocean rubbish. But I asked who had heard of “nurdles” and was surprised that only three people said yes. The message about microplastics is therefore one I think we as Looe Marine Conservation Group need to help get across to the public including politicians. Nurdles (see nurdle.org) are also known as “mermaid’s tears” and are the raw material for all our plastic products, are also used in detergents and as exfoliants in cosmetics. They are found on almost every beach on the planet – containers are lost at sea and split open as they are shipped around the world.
After the beach clean, we all headed to Raffles Bar at the Hannafore Point Hotel for a very well attended get together where our exciting events program for 2015 was unveiled. You can now download a copy from our What’s On page. The raffle made a nice little contribution to our funds and we gained 14 more enthusiastic members! A big thank you to everyone at the Hannafore Point Hotel for being such great hosts.
Finally, let us not forget the message in a bottle that arrived on our beach from Canada quoting Jacques Cousteau: “Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat“ reflecting on the reality that ‘the world shares one ocean’.
Here’s to our next beach clean on Saturday 21st March at Hannafore.
A Happy and litter free New Year to everyone!