Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Clean Coasts Volunteers Removed 46 Tonnes of Litter as Part of its 'Big Beach Clean'

28th September 2023
Kinvara Tidy Towns at work in Galway as part of the Clean Coasts Big Beach Clean
Kinvara Tidy Towns at work in Galway as part of the Clean Coasts Big Beach Clean

7,700 Clean Coasts volunteers rolled up their sleeves and removed a staggering 46 tonnes of litter all across the country as part of the Big Beach Clean. 

The Big Beach Clean is part of the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) organised by the Ocean Conservancy, and it entails an annual call-to-action for individuals, families, and communities to join forces to carry out a clean-up at the end of the bathing season and join a worldwide citizen science project.

The Big Beach Clean flagship event took place on Thursday, 28th September, from 10:30 am-12:30 pm in Youghal at Redbarn Beach, in Cork, to wrap up the initiative.

The event marked the end of a successful and busy summer for Clean Coasts volunteers, as well as a celebration of Sustainable Development Goals Week. Among the participants, there were several schools, including 4th class Gaelscoil Chorain, Youghal and Glamire Community College from the city suburbs. Glanmire Community College were eager to collect data about cigarette and vape litter for their BT Young Scientist project.

During the event, volunteers collected an additional 260.5kg of litter, including a couch and door. In addition to the usual litter items, such as cigarette butts and plastic items, volunteers found a Teddy bear and fishing gear.

Youghal had been badly hit by Storm Agnes, with a roof blowing off a building on Front Strand.

This year's Big Beach Clean was also part of Clean Coast's 20th anniversary celebrations, and the charity programme was delighted to see volunteers from all walks of life, including community groups, Tidy Towns associations, students, families, local businesses, and environmental enthusiasts, unite with a shared commitment to tackle marine litter. Team

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Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.