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N. Sivasothi,
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Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. Since 1998 with origins from OneList.

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Mon 18 Sep 2006

Battling the curse of marine litter - volunteers around the globe take to the shores

Category : coastalcleanup

Sat 16 Sep 2006 - As the sun rose over the earth, thousands of volunteers in every continent woke up and headed out to clean up marine debris from local beaches, mangroves, coral reefs, lakes and rivers in the the largest one-day volunteer event on behalf of clean oceans and waterways -- the International Coastal Cleanup.

ICC is unique inhaving a data collection component. Volunteers record specific types of marine debris being found, allowing The Ocean Conservancy to compile, analyze and track this data year-by-year and make discoveries about the behaviors that cause the debris. The final information is used to educate the public, business, industry, and government officials about the problem. We believe understanding the problem is the key to finding long-lasting solutions.

This annual exercise and other year-round cleanups also help reduce the chance of animal entanglement by ghost nets and ingestion of plastics by marine animals.

Last year, nearly 450,000 volunteers picked up more than 3,700 tonnes of debris from almost 29,000 km of shoreline around the world. This brought the 20-year total to more than 45,000 tonnes of debris removed [see ICC Press Release].

The International Coastal Cleanup is 15 years old in Singapore (ICCS). Each year some 2,000 volunteers collect 90,000 -100,000 pieces of trash weighing between 7-10 tonnes from our beaches and mangroves [2005 report]. This year some 30 schools, organisations and an increasing number of government bodies and corporations have risen to the task.

The mangrove cleanups are conducted a week earlier or later to catch the low tide at Kranji, Loyang, Tampines, Lim Chu Kang and Chek Jawa mangroves [see results]. Tomorrow morning, the larger number of volunteers will collect and categorise trash on beaches at Changi, Pulau Ubin, Kallang Basin, Marina East, East Coast Parkway, Punggol, Sembawang and Pasir Ris.

Everyone is welcome to turn up at the beaches at 8.30am and join in the effort!

The International Coastal Cleanup Singapore webpage has more details.

Posted at 6:17AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news