The weather kept us guessing, but it definitely did not deter the enthusiastic crowd from participating in our annual International Coastal Cleanup day!

The 120-strong gathering of cleaners was a mix of local Capetonians, Aquarium members, staff and volunteers.

The clean-up crew in high spirits. All images courtesy of Two Oceans Aquarium

Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup takes place every year in partnership with volunteer organisations and individuals around the globe to remove rubbish from beaches and waterways. We try to clean a different beach every year so that as many of our members and Capetonians from different areas as possible can join us, and this year we chose the coastal conservancy of Soetwater near Kommetjie.

Children from the Amy Biehl Foundation also joined us for the clean-up – and to enjoy the puppet show afterwards!

After introductions and a quick overview of Soetwater by Lappies Labuschagne, manager of Soetwater Environmental Education Centre, we handed out bags, gloves, data-collection sheets and pencils. There was also an opportunity to spot some interesting land and coastal birds, since Soetwater is a hotspot for many of the birds found along our coastline.

The Aquarium's Bianca Engel and her niece Mika hit the beach
Rope tangled in kelp – one of the many forms of litter we saw

We also introduced the team from Stream Straws, which produces amazing eco-friendly glass alternatives to one of the top 10 polluters in the ocean, the plastic straw. There was a raffle, with entrants standing the chance to win a cool set of glass straws, all kitted out with their own brush and a nifty bag to store them in.

Stream Straws – encouraging mindful behaviour change

Every beach is different and we never know what we will find. Soetwater, and Kommetjie in general, are beaches that accumulate waste from the ocean, rather than as a consequence of direct littering. This year we saw a lot of microplastic and a fair amount of fishing gut.

Microplastics were found in the beach sand
Our Monopoly Cape Town winner

The day ended with a prize draw, with Aquarium complimentary tickets, Aquarium Penguin Encounters and a set of the Monopoly Cape Town edition up for grabs.

The little kids enjoyed our mobile puppet show, which showcased our newest Puppet Stories offering, I Live Smart. All the children who attended received a free copy of the book to take home.

The day was a success and we left another beach a lot cleaner than it was when we arrived. We encourage our visitors to keep cleaning for the rest of the year. Whenever you visit the seaside, just take a bag with you and collect while you walk. It all makes a difference.

blog comments powered by Disqus