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MCS Survey Results

MCS Beachwatch Big Weekend 2011 reveals plastic-wrapped threat to beach cleanliness

An interesting and pertinent item in the Marine Conservation Society’s annual survey results for 2011 which have just been released shows an 11% rise in the number of dog poo bags left on beaches. Its a common sight here too, dog owners picking up after their dogs, only to leave the full bags on the beach. These are then a greater health hazard to wildlife than dog waste  alone.

More info here at the MCS website

Good News

You may have noticed a lot of Nivea bottles washed up on the beaches this winter which turn out to be from a container lost about a year ago. they came to the attention of Martin Dorey in Cornwall who contacted Nivea about it which you can read about here:  http://campervanliving.blogspot.com/2012/02/message-in-bottle.html. I got in touch with Martin to compare notes and today received this: Continue reading →

February – A Summary

I’ve been trying to identify those parties that have direct responsibility for the stewardship of our coastal environment and glean from them an accurate picture of what is done to remove rubbish from our beaches. I have spoken to TTS at length, received a couple of emails from the Department of the Environment and Tourism and spoken to a respected marine ecologist and environmentalist. Continue reading →

Beach Cleaning Machines

TTS uses the Industry leading Barber beach cleaning machines to collect seaweed from the beaches in the summer, which is then deposited at the low water line. This video is demonstrating the rubbish collection abilities of these machines.

Small Plastics

Someone quite rightly observed that much of what we have shown here so far looks like it was washed up after storms. So these are from a short stretch of beach – a few yards and represents just a fraction of the small and fragmented plastics that are accumulating on the beaches.

Department of the Environment

Marine litter is a global problem, in no small part caused by the persistent nature of plastics.

Responsibility is split. TTS have a cleaning team that include beaches in their remit. Department of Environment, mainly through the ECO-Active programme, promote and help organise beach cleans with various organisations (e.g. corporate, schools). Individuals also sign up to the Marine Conservation Society adopt a beach programme.

We are involved in reducing litter from fishing vessels by providing facilities on ashore.

Also I would hope all are interested in the care of our beaches and some responsibility falls to the general public to take their rubbish home after a day of the beach!

This is from the Department of the Environment  [I especially like the last sentence]. This response suggests that any interest beyond that taken by TTS is going to be voluntary or aimed at fishing boats.

The Marine Conservation Society is the leading charitable organisation protecting the seas, shores and wildlife of the UK and, in this case, the Channel Islands. They coordinate and support voluntary beach monitoring and cleaning and produce usable data from the results. You can register as a volunteer or as an organiser on their website to help a local beach. I have registered as an organiser and intend to participate in the annual beach survey they hold. Learn more on their website mcsuk.org

 

Tourism Priority List

Tourism decides which beaches are cleaned the most based upon their tourist popularity:

Update from TTS:

In the summer season TTS endeavour to provide the second priority beaches with the same level of care as first priority beaches.

First Priority                                                                Second Priority

1. St Brelade’s Bay                                                        1.StAubinsBay
(Wayside café to boardwalk café)                            (Millbrook/FirstTower)

2. St Aubin’s Bay                                                          2.Havre des Pas
(La Haule Kiosk Area)
(La Haule to Gunsite)                                                 3. The Dicq to La Mare
(Bel Royal Slip area)
(WestPark)                                                                     4. La Mare toGreenIsland
(SugarBasin)

3.GreenIsland                                                              5.GreenIslandto Gorey

4.GrouvilleBay
(FortWilliam- Welcome Slip)                                  6. Greve de Lecq

Other areas clean as and when required, if access is possible.

Beach Cleaning – What will we do?

Louisiana gold

Made in New Iberia, Louisiana USA

We are seeing here an aesthetic perspective on care of our beaches. By the fact that we need to decide by priority which beaches are kept most tidy we are demonstrating that we do not have enough resources to care for the beaches to an environmentally acceptable level.  The worldwide problem of oceanic refuse really does affect us – it literally does turn up on our door step, so for tourism and environmental reasons we have to do more than we currently do.

The beaches need manual care, so one option I would like to put forward is to use community service to bolster resources for manually clean beaches – Is that a possibility?  Do you have any views?

 

Beach Cleaning TTS Remit

We originally described generally what TTS do but are now able to provide more detail:

“The priority beaches are cleared of litter by our surf rake machine daily, (dependant on the tides) it visits the beaches alternatively (for example; Monday/Wednesday/Friday the West and Tuesday /Thursday the East, alternating the following week).

We also have crews who also visit and remove litter/debris and empty bins.

The Summer Schedule, commences mid April/May and continues till September / October depending on the weather.

The Winter Schedule the service is reduced and only involves removal of litter/debris as when required.

The removal of large deposits of seaweed is carried out by a contractor.

Various trials were carried out in 2000 season which conclude that the most practical and effective method was to gather up the seaweed after it had been deposited on the beach, after the tide had receded. Currently the collected seaweed is then taken down to the low tide mark for deposal, due to environmental restrictions of depositing it on the land.”

 

The State of our Beaches

One pair mens undies – white, one men’s left flipflop – black, four assorted lengths of rope, one nappy, two cistern ball floats used as fishing floats, two pallet straps, four plastic bottles, two pieces of expanded foam padding, three plastic bottle caps, one piece polystyrene,  two  unidentified pieces of plastic, one piece of  plastic mesh, and one glass pickled vegetable jar from Malaysia.

This is what I’ve found in the first three hundred yards of St Ouens beach, south of Le Braye slip on the 22nd June 2011 (a Wednesday) Continue reading →