A crazy 250kg of rubbish removed from Cambois Beach

MCS Beach Clean: Cambois 27th May 2018

We had a glorious day of weather for our latest beach clean at Cambois. Our 36 strong army of eco warriors took to the beach to remove another record breaking haul of marine debris.

It's Been A Few Months...

We've not cleaned this particular stretch of shoreline since the start of the year. It was dirty, but there was hardly any "new" litter. Most of it looked like it had been kicking around for a good few years. battered and shredded by the action of the waves. This begs the question... where has it come from? - it obviously wasn't there the last time or we would have picked it up!

Since we last cleaned this bit of the beach, the Beast From The East came for a visit. Our volunteers noted that there was one particular area on the beach that seemed to be full of plastic bottles. Perhaps there is a special tidal action in this spot where currents act as a funnel and floating litter accumulates. It could be that the rough waves of the storm brought debris from far and wide and left it on the beach for us - thanks North Sea! Better out than in, as they say! This throws up more questions - How long was it in the ocean before it got deposited on the shore, and how much is still in there?!

The Beach Watch Survey...

We always conduct a Marine Conservation Society Beach Watch survey as part of our clean-ups. Usually, there's not a great deal of rubbish to report from the survey area. Not this time - 4 bags of rubbish later we have 205 individual items of debris recorded and submitted to the MCS.

Can The Ocean Clean Itself?

Bottles weren't the only items that the rough seas have purged. We've noticed a huge amount of fishing line on the beach. During The Beast, there were mass strandings of marine life - including kelp and seaweed. The powerful waves ripped them from their moorings and left them on the sand. Luckily, kelp is very fast growing so will easily bounce back with little impact on our shallow water habitats (how quickly the animals will return is another matter...). There is one positive outcome from all this destruction. All of the monofilament fishing line and tackle that was once snagged underwater and unable to be retrieved has now become easy pickings for our beach cleaners.

It's So Important That We Pick This Trash Up...

It's imperative that we pick up as much debris as we possibly can. Litter like this, either on land or underwater, poses a threat to all our wildlife. We've all seen the horrific pictures of animals of all sizes tangled in fishing line, bellies full of plastic. After this clean-up, our awesome volunteers have made our beach safer by almost 300kg!

So What Next?

We'll be back on Cambois Beach on the 29th July. You can register your interest on the Marine Conservation Society Beach Watch page or on our Facebook event. Look out for upcoming underwater and beach clean ups on our Facebook page. Of course, you don’t need to wait for an organised event to make a difference – grab a bag and conduct your own 2 Minute Beach Clean on your next coastal visit.

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Nic Emery

Nic is one of the co-founders of The Fifth Point. She is a Master Instructor with a keen interest in environmental conservation.

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