Registrations for the Big Beach Clean only opened a couple of weeks ago and 5,000 volunteers from all over Ireland have already registered to receive free clean-up kits to tackle litter in over 200 different locations.
In County Dublin, over 600 volunteers have already signed up to carry out clean-ups in more than 20 different locations across the county.
The Big Beach Clean is an annual call-to-action organized by Clean Coasts that calls volunteers from communities all over Ireland getting involved to remove litter from our beautiful coast at the end of the bathing season, as part of the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), operated internationally by Ocean Conservancy. This year, the initiative will run between 17th-19th September, which is also the same weekend as World Clean-up Day.
Communities and volunteers across the country are invited to register their own clean-ups in any location in Ireland, no matter how far from the coast. Alternatively, Clean Coasts will be facilitating a number of clean-ups in several counties, for people who wish to join them. Places will be limited, so make sure you check the calendar of events and register your interest through Clean Coasts’ website or social media. [details below in editor’s note].
The Big Beach Clean is also an opportunity for volunteers to get involved in a worldwide citizen science project, which entails collecting the amount and types of litter on Irish beaches and filling in Clean Coasts’ Marine Litter Data Cards. This will help heighten awareness about the issue of marine litter serving as an indicator of the magnitude of the problem.
Public participation through Citizen Science is the key concept in which everyone does their small part to increase knowledge and provides a lifeline to scientists that would not have the capacity to carry out this research alone and the data collected contributes to a growing body of knowledge, helping to reveal patterns and trends, identify areas for further research and even inform policy. The benefits of citizen science, however, are not only confined to the scientific community. Taking part in these collaborative efforts also promotes active citizenship, increases environmental awareness, and enables people to be part of a bigger picture.
Statistics show that the number one cause of marine litter is litter dropped in towns and cities. This is why the Big Beach Clean will once more be open to all residents of Ireland, no matter how far from the coast they are based, thanks to the involvement of the National Spring Clean Programme. Getting involved in the Big Beach Clean is a way for residents of non-coastal counties to help prevent litter entering our waterways and seas by holding a clean-up no matter where they are in the country and tackling the problem at source.
Finally, Cully and Sully will support the initiative again, by providing registered volunteers with the Big Beach Clean kits. Cullen Allen (Cully) said “Cully & Sully are proud to be partners with the Big Beach Clean again for 2021. The work carried out by the teams across the Island of Ireland is amazing and unfortunately very much needed during these times. We all use our local beaches and have spent time on many of the beautiful beaches and waterways across Ireland and are so thankful for the work that the groups and organisations do.”
“Highlighting the importance of taking your rubbish home with you and encouraging everyone to do their part really is critical in the world we are living in. We would urge everyone to get out during the Big Beach Clean 2021. Why not get together with your family, friends, work colleagues or even your classmates and make a fun day of it whilst also helping this amazing initiative. We need maintain our clean beaches and waterways and protect them for future generations.”