We have just launched a Crowdfunding appeal to raise vital funds for our growing marine litter campaigns and to deliver the biggest ever Big Spring Beach Clean initiative involving communities nationwide this March. Our Marine Litter Crisis Crowdfunding Appeal aims to raise at least £5,000 to contribute to our award-winning marine litter campaigns and help train, equip and support 3,000 community volunteers nationwide at over 150 events.
To pledge your support to this campaign go to – www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-big-spring-beach-clean
The recent storm Hercules dumped vast quantities of plastics and other marine litter on UK beaches, showing the true scale of the problem facing our coastal environments and communities. The Big Spring Beach Clean will take place from 28th to 31st March and aims to facilitate at least 150 beach cleans involving 3,000 volunteers spanning all coastal constituencies and removing a minimum of 10 tonnes of debris from our precious beaches.
We are working at community, corporate and government level to tackle the growing tide of marine litter that washes up on UK beaches every year. This Spring we will be publishing a new marine litter report and five year action plan to map out the radical solutions that could help dramatically reduce marine litter levels by 2020.
Sadly, the springtime reveals the true severity of the marine litter crisis. The impact of winter storms and in the absence of seasonal council beach cleaning operations, the accumulation of litter can be truly shocking. Typical examples of marine litter include rubbish from beach users, sewage-related debris, waste from commercial shipping, nets and fish boxes from fishing vessels and medical waste.
Marine litter is thought to reduce the resilience of marine ecosystems and add to other human impacts on the marine environment such as inappropriate development, swage and agriculture pollution, climate change and ocean acidification (Derraik, 2002). Marine litter can also dramatically affect quality of life, recreational opportunities and aesthetic value. The majority of beach users rank cleanliness as a priority in choosing their destination. A 2005 ENCAMS study showed that 97% of people avoided beaches with 10 or more large litter items per metre.
“The marine litter crisis is a catastrophic environmental issue hitting beautiful beaches right around the UK. It poses an unprecedented threat to marine wildlife, coastal habitats and our enjoyment of these unique spaces. The SAS Big Spring Beach Clean empowers communities and educates the public on how we can all play our part in turning the tide or marine litter, please pledge your support today!”
Hugo Tagholm, SAS Chief Executive