REPORT ON THE BIRDLIFE OVERBERG’S CLEANMARINE CAMPAIGN: PROJECT 2: MONTHLY COASTAL CLEANUPS
Posted on the 23rd August 2019
PROJECT 2: MONTHLY COASTAL CLEANUPS
# Monthly coastal cleanups have been undertaken during most months since October 2017 and previously between 2006 and 2008. Reports on these monthly cleanups are being published on a regular basis and the results of the quantities of the various items gathered are collated and submitted to John Kieser of Plastics SA on the standard international forms developed by the Oceans Conservancy in Washington. We need to investigate ways of getting more members and other volunteers involved in these cleanups. We express our sincere appreciation to Elaine Odendal and Helé Oosthuizen for managing this process and to John Kieser for the provision of plastic bags, other equipment and support.
# Discussions were recently undertaken with Liezl de Villiers and her staff in view of developing a huge coastal cleanup along the entire Overstrand coastline for International Coastal Cleanup Day on 21 September 2019. This project is being coordinated by Steven Nlokwana of the municipality and already some 20 agencies, clubs and schools have committed support for this effort. An initial media release in this regard is currently being developed. It is proposed that this effort be repeated regularly on a quarterly and maybe even monthly basis.
# We are further continuing with a sustained campaign to minimise the use of single use plastics throughout the Overstrand region and have recently reached the total weight of 100kg of plastics in Ecobricks. These plastics now do not go to landfill sites or pollute the environment and the bottles are being delivered to the People n Planet campaign of Pick n Pay and being used in a community development project in the Cape Flats. We thank all participants for their continued support in this regard.
Year-end outing with the volunteers from the Zwelihle Recycle Swop Shop at the Stony Point penguin colony
BirdLife Overberg volunteers along the beautiful Hoek van de Berg Nature Reserve shoreline
CONCLUDING COMMENTS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The support of several collaborating organisations is acknowledged. The growing list of partners includes the Coastal Cleanup Conservation Trust, the Onrus Litter Ladies, Walker Bay Recycling and the Sharks Conservancy. Note should be taken of the fact that the latter two organisations requested us to participate in and support campaigns that they are involved in.
We express our sincere appreciation to John Kieser of Plastics SA for providing branded refuse bags for the collection of litter. He also assists with forwarding the scored sheets of litter collected to the Oceans Conservancy.
Finally we would like to invite club members, as well as members of the public and representatives of environmental and cultural clubs and agencies and particularly youth groups to join us on these monthly coastal clean-ups, or to start with similar campaigns in their areas. Members of the Somerset West Bird Club have already joined similar actions in Strand after a talk by Anton at one of their monthly meetings and the hope is expressed that other bird clubs will join such campaigns.
It is recommended that this project continues into the future as several volunteers and collaborators have become involved and the infrastructure is in place given the sterling coordination by Elaine and Helé.