Wednesday, September 17, 2008

International Coastal Cleanup Week targets undesirable debris


Immediate release 13 September 2008

International Coastal Cleanup Week targets undesirable debris

Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning Pierre Uys thanks all the community and school volunteers who will assist during the coming week to clear undesirable debris from the Western Cape coastline.

The Coastal Management team of the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in partnership with District Municipalities initiated beach cleanups for the week of 15 to 19 September 2008.

Various schools and learners will take part in the annual activities to cleanup beaches with the aim to identify the different types of pollution and compile data to devise strategies to combat pollution. Many of the volunteers come from disadvantaged and marginalised areas.They are involved in the activities to increase public participation in solving the problem of pollution, and to increase public awareness and appreciation of the coastal environment.

A perpetual problem with undesirable debris exists on our beaches along our coastline. Many of our people are unaware how their daily activities, from not properly disposing of their garbage or even throwing a cigarette butt on the ground, can impact on the plants and animals off our shores. This debris can harm or kill beach organisms. Marine pollution also makes using the beach less enjoyable for people. Solving our water pollution that washes to the sea requires everyone's involvement, Minister Uys said.

The programmevaries from area to area but provides for a talk on keeping the coast clean. This is followed by collecting refuse like plastic and broken glass on the beaches and fun activities (like sand castle building and beach races).

Local schools will assist in: Olifants River Mouth to Strandfontein, Elands Bay, Dwarskersbos, Jacobs Bay, Yzerfontein, Overberg Testing Range (Aghulhas), De Hoop, Struis Bay, Waenhuiskrans, Bigai River, Wilderness and Kleinkrantz, Briekelbos River, Swartvlei Beach to Sedgefield, Still Bay, Knysna Lagoon, Khayalethu River, Grobbelaars River, Springer Bay to Boggoms Bay, Vlees Bay to Kanon, Cape Vacca to Kanon and Vlees Bay to Boggoms Bay (Fransmanhoek Conservancy).


Enquiries: Cobus Grobler (media officer) 073 133 7299
Minister Uys 082 4555 144

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