REPORT ON THE BIRDLIFE OVERBERG COASTAL CLEANUP ON 14 APRIL 2018
Posted on the 15th April 2018
Eleven volunteers together with fourteen children from the Recycle Swop Shop participated in the seventh monthly BirdLife Overberg coastal cleanup along the Vermont shoreline. The group started from the Jan Rabie tidal pool and worked westwards towards Brekfisbaai.
This is being done in collaboration with and in support of Antonio De Silva-Swart’s work with the Coastal Cleanup Conservation Trust. We also thank John Kieser of Plastics SA for providing the bags. These monthly cleanups form part of BirdLife Overberg’s broader campaign on the conservation of the Overstrand coastline and estuaries. The other projects are the identification of key breeding sites for African Black Oystercatchers and White-fronted Plovers and regular bird counts along the three main estuaries in the region. Fishing line bins will also be installed at key spots along our coast. Several environmental education initiatives are also being planned, with the African Black Oystercatcher as the central theme of the year. This is done in support of BirdLife South Africa’s Bird of the Year campaign.
It was a beautiful cloudy and windless morning. The cleanup was interesting and very rewarding. The group worked in threes with one marking off the litter items collected. This is done on the standard form developed by the Oceans Conservancy, an international agency based in America. The information will be forwarded to them and Plastics SA. This is done to gain a better world-wide understanding of the negative impact of plastics on our oceans.
An Excel spreadsheet of the littler collected is available from us, but we hereby merely highlight a few findings. Prominent items collected include 87 cigarette butts, 38 plastic bottle caps, 35 plastic straws, 12 plastic beverage bottles and 84 small pieces of plastic. 76 condom wrappers were also collected confirming that abalone poachers are still active along this coastline. Nine bags were collected totalling a whopping 41 kg! The bags of litter will be delivered to the recycling plant where it will be sorted and processed.
All agreed that this is a very satisfactory and rewarding exercise and are looking forward next month’s. This will be done on Saturday 12 May and the area to be cleaned is still to be decided on. We would like to express our appreciation to Vivie, Helé and Elaine for providing the sandwiches, apples and drinks for the Swop Shop children.
My appreciation goes to everyone who had participated and we are looking forward to welcoming those members who could not make it today to next month’s cleanup. We appeal to all members to become involved in this campaign and see how many friends and other interested parties you can involve. Also let us know if you want to clean a specific section of coastline close to where you live on a regular basis and we will assist you to get going. Contact Elaine at firstname.lastname@example.org or 082 455 8402 to volunteer your support.
Carl Swart also took a group out at Kleinmond and he reports as follows: "We had another clean-up at the Kleinmond lagoon and beach this morning. 9 participants (not as many as I hoped for) and 12 bag of rubbish removed. The number of sigarette butt are incredible. While waiting for the helpers I started clearing 2m around one cement table and picked up 175 buts in 10 minutes." - Thanks Carl!