Ocean News

National Coastal Clean-up week

22nd September 2009

The Save our Seas Shark Centre in Cape Town proactively participated in National Coastal Clean-up week, which is linked to International Coastal Clean-up Day from the 14-18 September.

In partnership with Ocean Conservancy South Africa, the City of Cape Town and Metrorail, a total of 220 enthusiastic learners from grades 3 – 7 caught the train to the Centre. (Bad weather and odd tide times played havoc with our plans and one school was unfortunately forced to cancel their visit).

International Coastal Cleanup, an Ocean Conservancy initiative, is one of the world’s largest volunteer efforts of its kind. Last year, nearly 400,000 volunteers collected more than 6.8 million pounds (3 million kilograms) of trash in 100 countries and 42 US States.

Here at the Centre, and through an interactive lesson, we taught the learners about marine pollution and its affects on marine animals. The learners also enjoyed the screening of “Maxine’s Journey” and discussions on shark matters and beach safety. Thereafter they headed for the beach across the road from the Centre for a tidal rock pool lesson, followed by beach and shore cleanups in the area.

Hotdogs and juice kept the tummy grumbles at bay. The highlight for many was the rock pool lesson, presented by Michael Carnegie our resident marine educator, and supported by volunteer, Terry Corr.

But more importantly the beach cleanup was undertaken with great enthusiasm and astounding results. Litter collected ranged from a massive amount of broken glass, clothing, bricks, plastic, a tyre, not to mention the ever present cigarette butts or “stompies”. In support of the week and to encourage enduring awareness, the Centre is running a Marine Pollution creative competition, which all learners will participate in.  See the blog update: Marine Pollution Learner Competition for details.

It took team effort from all SOSSC staff and volunteers to run the program, this included:  Lindy Warren, Michael Carnegie, Terry Corr (Volunteer), Zaneli, Mathew, Charmaine, Tracy Bailey (Volunteer), and Glenn.

Thanks to all who assisted in the planning and delivery of this significant event. Till 2010!

Lesley Rochat

Director Education & Awareness, SOSSC