Coastline Clean Up Get Involved!
The main focus for Isle of Wight Day this year, September 22nd, is a huge coastline clean-up to rid the Island’s beautiful beaches of discarded plastic waste that has been washed up by the sea. The Coastline Clean Up will stretch over the whole weekend (22ndand 23rd) and everyone is invited to join in and help.
Nipper the Crab
Nipper the giant 7ft high orange crab mascot is leading this initiative – he’s been starring at all of the Island’s major events this summer, bringing awareness to the people of this Coastline Clean Up. He’s even been taking part in the carnivals and the UK Pride march in July, on his Island coast-themed float and brandishing his pincers that are ideal for picking up plastic waste, we’re told.
He’s also been helping to recruit the hundreds of volunteers required for this major operation. Children are especially keen to meet Nipper, who is a very friendly looking crab with a broad grin, fetching yellow spots, cute little legs and wonky googly eyes on stalks.
Each volunteer will have disposable rubbish bags, gloves, high viz vests and other equipment that they might need for the litter pick, which will be supplied by Isle of Wight Day. All of the plastic rubbish collected over the weekend will be disposed of safely in conjunction with the IOW Council.
Become an Ambassador
If you would you like to be an Ambassador for your area, you can be the point of contact between the IOW Day team and volunteers, encouraging local people to get involved and signed up in your area. Ambassadors are needed to arrange a time and a place for the litter pickers to meet, along with giving out the packs and equipment on the day. Of course you get full support and guidance from the IOW Day team. Simply tick the Ambassador box in the link below and someone from IOW Day will be in touch with you.
Picking the Litter
It’s a rewarding task, picking up all of the litter on the beaches, and knowing that you’ll be leaving the beach clean for all of the people who use it. More importantly the beaches will also be safe for the birds and sea creatures who can become entangled or maimed by plastic items, or can accidently eat them and die.
Be aware that some items can be sharp – look carefully at a ball of string and line, it may have fishing hooks inside it. These are especially damaging to anyone with bare feet, including dogs walking on the beach, so getting rid of them is a priority. If at any time you are worried about picking up something on the beach, contact your Ambassador or another person involved in the clean-up for a second opinion.
You may even find a lobster pot, washed up in the storms, which can be recycled by a local fisherman. Occasionally planks of wood wash up and these can be used to build garden sheds and other decorative items. Many island artists use flotsam and jetsam in their work, and garden designers incorporate it into their creations. Nothing you find will be wasted and if it is to be disposed of, it will be done in an environmentally friendly manner.
You don’t have to be a resident to get involved in the beach clean. Everyone is welcome, and you’ll probably make some new friends into the bargain.
3 September 2018