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Are you looking for a way to improve your time at your favourite Sydney beach? How about making it cleaner? A beach clean-up is one of the best ways you can improve your local beach while also benefiting the entire marine ecosystem. This article will delve into beach clean-ups, exploring what they are, how they're beneficial, and how you can participate in one.
At its core, a beach clean-up is a community-based and community lead or local authority lead (in the case of council clean-ups) activity geared towards collecting rubbish from our beaches. Beach clean-ups are widespread across the world. People offer their time and labour to collect garbage along the shores, making it a safe environment for people. More importantly, collecting rubbish from the beach reduces the risks pollution poses to marine flora and fauna. Human-introduced debris can be toxic to aquatic life.
While cleaning the beach is the main objective, beach clean-ups also offer researchers and environment groups an opportunity to glean into the current state of the beach and the current trends in pollution. Understanding the type of rubbish polluting the beaches and subsequently entering the ocean can help environmental groups and local authorities take proactive steps to stem the tide of pollution.
1). It Plays A Huge Role In Saving Marine Eco-System
Marine flora and fauna are vulnerable to marine debris. Over 77 species have been identified as susceptible to and highly impacted marine pollution in Australia. In almost all cases, the interaction of marine pollution with marine animals and plants does not end well for the animal or plant.
We've all seen photos and videos of marine animals entangled by plastics on their necks, feet, beaks, flippers, wings, etc. It’s tragic and its heartbreaking. However, the good news is, it can be prevented. Beach clean-ups help protect the marine ecosystem by removing the trash that poses a danger to aquatic animals and plants.
2). Reduces The Number Of Toxic Chemicals That End Up In Water
Human rubbish can be toxic to the beach and marine environments. Take cigarette butts as an example. While the butts are small, they are poisonous and contaminate a lot of water when they end up in the ocean. They filter and collect carcinogenic substances from tobacco burning. When cigarette butts find their way into ocean water, they leach harmful chemicals toxic to fish. Beach clean-ups that involve getting rid of such debris helps negate water pollution and toxic substances affecting the fish.
3). Create A Safe Beach Environment
Rubbish is not only an eye-sore, but it can also pose a danger to beachgoers. Metal, glass, and plastics with sharp edges are a public hazard. When hidden in the sand, they can cause serious injury when beachgoers step on these items. Beach clean-up help negate such hazards and create a safer and more enjoyable public space for anyone visiting and enjoying the beach.
4). Helps Support The Local Economy
There is an economic cost to polluting our beaches. Local communities depend on beach tourism and the exposure of marine flora and fauna for food and tourism (for instance, scuba diving). When the beach and ocean nearby are polluted, tourism, beach activities, and fishing are affected. In light of this, beach clean-ups help keep our beaches pristinely clean and attractive. A clean beach will go a long way to attract tourists to the locality and keep the marine ecosystem clean and healthy, thereby supporting tourism and fishing.
5). Beach Cleaning Helps Researchers Understand Beach Pollution
There is a long-term benefit to participating in beach clean-ups. The trash collected helps researchers understand beach pollution from all angles. Every piece of debris collected can be grouped in a specific identifying group, such as packaging materials, fishing materials, consumer materials, remnants, glass, wood, and much more. For instance, from the rubbish collected, researchers can understand the most common types of rubbish, which will help lobby groups, government departments, and the community at large take steps to mitigate the release of that specific kind of rubbish in the future.
6). Helps Reduce The Bioaccumulation Of Microplastics And General Plastic on Beaches
Research conducted partly through beach clean-ups has shown that bioaccumulation of microplastics is a massive issue of concern for marine flora and fauna and human health. For instance, the AMDI Database maintained by the Tangaroa Blue Foundation organised beach clean-up establish that about 84% of all pollution along Australia's beaches is plastic debris. Additionally, 42% of plastic pollution is microplastic pollution. Additionally, approximately 1 in 3 fish caught in the ocean for human consumption is contaminated with microplastics; there is a considerable risk of bioaccumulation in humans, which will affect our health in the long term. Cleaning our beach helps reduce this risk significantly.
7). Beach Clean-Ups Create Awareness
Aside from the direct benefits mentioned above, creating awareness of beach pollution is also beneficial. Public awareness can help sensitise people on the effects of pollution, thereby helping to reduce the rate and extent of pollution on the beach in the long term.
Don't wait for a council beach clean-up to participate in cleaning your local beach. You can participate in a beach clean-up with your friends and family.
Select A Beach To Clean – Does your local or favourite beach need a clean-up? Choose a beach or part of a beach to focus your cleaning effort on.
Make Your Schedule – Pick a time when the beach is empty, and your volunteers are available. Early morning on weekends is the perfect time to hold a beach clean-up.
Seek Permission From Local Authorities – To clean public beaches, you might need a permit from the local council. If that's the case, notify the local authorities.
Find Beach Clean-Up Volunteer – If you are cleaning your local beach with your friends and family, find additional volunteers by spreading the word on social media.
Get Your Supplies And Get To Cleaning – You need recyclable garbage bags, rakes, trash sticks, protective gloves, and sunscreen to carry out the clean-up safely. With your supplies in hand, it's time to clean the beach!
Beach clean-ups allow you to spend time on the beach in great company. More importantly, it's an endeavour designed to achieve the greater good of all beachgoers, the local community, the marine ecosystem, and ultimately, the world. Participate in as many beach clean-ups as you can.
Shop for sustainable products as you head to the beach. At Goods That Give, our range of products and supplies is inherently eco-friendly, resulting in as little polluting waste. Play your part in keeping our beaches and oceans clean by reducing the number of plastics littering the beach. Shop biodegradable beach supplies today!