September 15, 2018

The Marine Dynamics / Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT,) together with the Overstrand Municipality partnered for International Coastal Clean Up day, doing the 1,5km stretch of rocky coastline from the Gansbaai Caravan Park towards the tidal pool. International Coastal Clean Up Day is a global movement with all trash recorded going into the South African database with PlasticsSA and the global database held by Ocean Conservancy. Various members of the public joined the clean-up, as did the DICT’s Environmental Education Programme (DEEP) accompanied by a few of their parents. Other groups included Laerskool Gansbaai, Gansbaai Primer, Gansbaai Academia, Grootbos, and International Marine Volunteers. In total there were 58 children and 20 adults. The Development and Planning division of the Department of Environmental Affairs kindly donated goodie bags for the DEEP children.

At the end of the clean-up there were 40 bags weighing 100,25 Kg’s. Top finds: Glass pieces 736 / Plastic pieces 517 / Straws/Sticks 314 /Cigarette butts 306. Strangest items found: Candles, Batteries, Shoe hangers, Umbrella. Pinkey Ngewu of the Trust had this to say, “Every person, every action, every bucket full of plastic removed from the beach can make the ocean a little bit healthier. Let’s love the ocean and refuse unnecessary plastic, one of the top known ocean pollutants.”

A week before, the DEEP group did a clean-up at the Uilenkraalsmond bridge collecting a further 40kgs of waste. During the week, the staff and International Marine Volunteer team took to the dunes of Die Gruis walking a distance of 4,5km and collecting 205 beer bottles. These bottles had become visible after the fire. These are all a direct result of people drinking and dumping on the beach. The bottles were 60% green, 30% brown and 10% transparent. The DICT appeals to the public to respect the beaches. Trash in the water impacts the world on many levels, including harming wildlife, humans, and impacting the livelihood of those who work on the ocean.