On the 17 September 2016, a small group of Kranes joined Di Martin and the Durban North Honorary Officers for the 20th International Coastal Cleanup at Beachwood Mangroves on a cool overcast Saturday morning. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed this outing and were surprised (and horrified) by the quantity and variety of litter strewn across the beach. Children were also exposed to the uniqueness of the Mangrove Forests and had great fun watching the crabs collect all the leaves that fell from the trees.
The following observations were made by the KRANES:
- Pieces of rubbish that are usually recognisable and could easily be picked up at the source are broken down to unrecognisable, small and difficult pieces to pick up by the time they reach the beach.
- Polystyrene made up the vast majority of the rubbish that our group collected and it is easy to see why marine creatures think it is cuttlefish and try to eat it with disastrous consequences.
- The efforts of the team appointed to clean the mangroves along the boardwalk was clearly visible by our group. The comparisons of the amount of rubbish seen on our walk out to the beach and on our walk back to basecamp was the difference of night and day.
During the 2015 KZN cleanup, 5200 volunteers collected 22.871 tonnes of litter from 400 km of beach, rivers, estuaries and reefs. In 2009, 8426 volunteers collected 51 tonnes of litter from 588 km. The amount of litter being collected is decreasing (2015 – 57 kg/km; 2009 86 kg/km) but it is still too much.
You can help by not littering yourself, and assisting at any organised clean-ups that you hear about (or organise one yourself).
For eye-opening international figures, look at the international coastal cleanup website: