A beautiful day for a beach clean!

Beach Watch Survey: Littlehaven 29th December 2016

A crisp and sunny morning welcomed our highest turnout of volunteers to date. What better way to blow out the cobwebs in between Christmas and New Year, plus we did our bit to protect the marine environment AND we worked off the festive excess!

Our volunteers were wrapped up warm and took to Littlehaven Beach in South Shields – one of our adopted sites with the Marine Conservation Society Beach Watch initiative. It was a busy day on the shore, with many dog walkers and families enjoying the winter sunshine. Several beach goers stopped to ask what we were up to, thanking us for our hard work! The praise was definitely deserved as our amazing volunteers removed over 90kg of rubbish in only one hour!

Quite an impressive haul...

... but actually the beach itself was in relatively good condition compared to Sandhaven Beach down the road. We found the usual culprits of food packets, bottles and cotton bud sticks. We could tell that the dog owners frequenting the beach were very responsible - we only found a small amount of “evidence” to the contrary. It’s worth noting that Littlehaven Beach has bins… something that’s inexplicably absent at Sandhaven – could that have something to do with enabling responsibility?

Fishing For Trouble...

Unfortunately, unlike our other adopted sites, Littlehaven was covered in discarded fishing gear. We know it’s a popular spot for fishing from the beach and nearby pier. It’s thought that the majority of line and hooks were snagged on rocks and weed further out and eventually washed in. Ghost fishing gear poses an entanglement risk to our marine animals above and below the water.

A full breakdown of the debris collected in the Marine Conservation Society survey can be found here.

Working In Partnership with TerraCycle...

We are now supporting the TerraCycle Beach Plastic Recycling Program. All hard plastics we collect from our clean ups will be separated and shipped to TerraCycle. They then sort, clean and melt the plastics and remould it into a new, recycled product! Who knows what our trash could be turned into...

Bring on 2017...

With the help of our fantastic volunteers, we’ll continue to remove as much rubbish as we can during our beach cleans. However, 2017 will see The Fifth Point increase our environmental efforts, taking clean ups underwater and conducting Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris surveys.

If you’d like to be involved, get in touch! You will need to be a certified diver and we’ll organise dives at sites that are suitable for all levels of diver. If you’re not yet qualified – what are you waiting for?! Why not book in for a try dive so you can experience what it’s like to breathe underwater. Then, once you’ve fallen in love with the feeling you can enrol on our Open Water Course, get qualified and start collecting rubbish underwater!

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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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