The Autumn Beach Clean Series – 17th – 19th October 2014 – Community Beach Cleans Tackling Marine Litter in England, Wales, Northern Ireland & Scotland.
Protect Your Beach From Marine Litter This Halloween
Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), The Crown Estate and World Animal Protection are calling for volunteers to join them at beautiful beaches nationwide from October the 17th – 19th for this year’s Autumn Beach Clean Series.
Over 120 locations have already been confirmed to host Autumn Beach Clean Series events at beaches from Lands’ End to John O’Groats, Cromer to Portrush. These inspiring community events will be led by local volunteers who are passionate about their local stretch of coastline. On the eve of Halloween, it’s time to join these amazing beach guardians in protecting our beaches, waves and wildlife from the marine litter crisis haunting our coastlines.
Head to our Events Page to find your nearest Autumn Beach Clean (NB; All beach cleans are subject to change, please make sure to check the SAS events page before heading to the beach!).
Beaches Still in Need! – Can you lead an event at one of these beaches? – Sign up to lead an event today! Email [email protected] or call 01872 553001 to register your Autumn Beach Clean Series event –
The amount of litter landing on UK beaches has risen consistently for at least the last 20 years this means that there are now a staggering 2039 items of marine litter for each kilometre of UK coastline. The overwhelming majority of these items are plastics, which will persist for many hundreds of years in our marine environments.
Alongside the removal of more than 10 tonnes of marine litter Autumn Beach Cleaners will be monitoring the amounts and types of ghost fishing gear on their beaches as part of World Animal Protection’s Sea Change campaign. Ghost gear is the term used for lost or abandoned fishing gear such as nets, ropes, pots and hooks that continue to indiscriminately catch, injure and kill fish, marine mammals, seabirds and other wildlife in our oceans.
It is estimated that entanglement in ghost gear kills at least 136,000 seals, sea lions and large whales every year worldwide. An inestimable number of birds, turtles, fish and other species are also injured and killed. With an estimated 640,000 tonnes of ghost gear entering our oceans each year, some of which will persist for up to 600 years  the need for action is clear. The information collected by Autumn Beach Clean Volunteers will be invaluable to the Sea Change campaign, which aims to save 1 million marine animals worldwide by 2018.
Surfers Against Sewage is calling for a 50% reduction in UK beach litter by 2020. Community, grass roots, engagement with issue of marine litter is vital to the success of this vision and working with The Crown Estate as part of their Marine Stewardship Fund over the past four autumns has proven an excellent way to achieve this shared aim.
All they need now is thousands of pairs of helping hands! So, this, grab a pair of gloves and head down to your nearest Autumn Beach Clean this October the 17th, 18th & 19th and get started on ending the marine litter crisis that haunts our oceans, waves and beaches.
To find your nearest Autumn Beach Clean our Events Page and for more information email [email protected] or call 01872 553001. There’s still time to organise your own Autumn Beach Clean! So please register your beach with us before Monday the 13th of October.References;
-  Beachwatch Big Weekend – Marine Conservation Society. Retrieved 11.08.2013 from http://www.mcsuk.org/downloads/pollution/beachwatch/latest2014/Beachwatch_Summary_Report_2013.pdf
-  United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
-  FANTARED 2 (2003): ‘A Study to identify, quantify and ameliorate the impacts of static gear lost at sea’, retrieved 11.08.2013 from http://www.seafish.org/media/Publications/FANTARED_2_COMPLETE.pdf
-  Pierpoint, C. 2000 “Bycatch of marine turtles in UK and Irish waters” JNCC Report NO 31.
I’m delighted to see so many community volunteers joining the Autumn Beach Clean Series to lead local events right around the UK. We hope to see thousands of people joining us in October to take action on marine litter together! Make sure you get involved with a beach clean near you.
Hugo Tagholm, Chief Executive of SAS says:
We are delighted to support Surfers Against Sewage in their efforts to mobilise coastal communities in protecting beaches and coastal habitats from the threat of marine litter. We hope that through these events individuals will not only have a greater opportunity to play a part in protecting their favourite beaches, but also gain an understanding of how The Crown Estate is working to deliver a sustainable future for UK coastlines and coastal communities.
Gary Thompson, Coastal Manager from the Crown Estate says:
World Animal Protection is thrilled to be involved with Surfers Against Sewage and their Autumn Beach Clean Series. Our Sea Change campaign aims to protect the some 8,000 marine species in UK waters from the devastating impact of ‘ghost fishing gear’. We hope the beach cleans will give people a chance to find out more about this largely unknown issue haunting our oceans and help monitor the scale of the problem.
Alyx Elliott, Campaign Manager at World Animal Protection says: