This month is host to the annual citizen-science event of the Great British Beach Clean, hosted by Marine Conservation Society. Communities of volunteers from across the country head towards their nearest beaches to pick litter and collect data on the extent of damage caused to our local ocean environments.
This year’s cleanup takes place from the 15th to the 24th of September, and it’s easier than ever to get involved! Simply visit: www.mcsuk.org, where you can either join local cleaning events, or follow the step-by-step process to sign up and organise your own.
Events like these are crucial for ocean conservation efforts, (including protecting our ocean reptile species) as it’s an excellent way to spread awareness and recruit volunteers, but the data that is collected is also extremely important. MCS has used the data of previous years to campaign towards healthier ocean environments with successes such as the plastic bag charge, banning microplastics in personal care products, and better product labeling, in addition to supporting the petition for a tax on single-use plastics.
MCS post each year’s statistics from their data collection to the website, so it’s clear as day how drastic an impact that these events have. 2022 saw over 5,000 volunteers clean 4,000kg of litter from over 30 miles of beach. Please visit the website for the full breakdown, information on MCS’s conservation efforts, and how best to get informed and involved with the 2023 Great British Beach Clean!