September 21, 2019: A coastal clean-up campaign was organised today by the Foundation on the beaches of Poompuhar, Rameswaram, Sangumal, and Kodiyakarai between 7am to 12 pm commemorating the International Coastal Cleanup Day. The main objective of the programme was to engage and create awareness among the fishing communities, schools, colleges and university students, beach visitors, and other coastal stakeholders and general public on the importance of pollution free coast and act as better stewards of our coastal and marine environment.
A total of about 369 volunteers participated in the cleanup at all the three beaches respectively. The participants were divided into 10 groups and they collected debris from all the three beaches for a distance of about 1 Km at each beach. The collected debris was segregated with the support of volunteers and the municipality of respective beach sites and the composition was documented. The total debris collected was about 4.20 tons. It comprised of plastic bags, bottles and cups (750kgs), glass bottles (789kg), cloths (156kg), ropes (332kgs), boat discards such as thermocol and nets (247kgs), chappels (133kg) and other waste (1613kgs). As an appreciation, certificates were issued to encourage the volunteers. The segregated debris was handed over to the municipality volunteers for proper disposal.
Department of Fisheries, Department of Marine Police – Coastal Security, students from schools and colleges, fisherwomen SHGs, fishermen groups, Fishermen Cooperative Society members, traditional Panchayat leaders, Village Development Committee members and local volunteers accompanied the cleanup programme at each site. Network for Fish Quality Management (NETFISH) partnered with MSSRF for the Rameswaram and Sangumal beach cleanup.
The National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR), Chennai, Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoEs), Government of India was the focal point for Coastal Clean Seas Campaign. This campaign was organised by the ‘Fish for All’ Training and Research Centre of MSSRF at Poompuhar in collaboration with NCCR.