World Oceans Day 2019 is a time for us to protect and restore our oceans – together! The Two Oceans Aquarium wants YOU to join them on the beachfront of Hout Bay – a thriving hub of human and animal coexistence!
Where better to begin World Oceans Day?
Apart from being good for the environment, cleanups are also good for us humans. Anyone who’s spent a morning with us on a beach to pick up plastic pollution knows that it’s actually a chance to have a ball, to spend time with friends and family, to breathe in some fresh air and feel the sand between our toes, and to leave a slightly better, slightly more informed person.
WHEN: 8 June 2019 09h00 to 11h00
WHERE: Location: Hout Bay, Cape Town 7806 (Hout Bay Beach Parking lot, look for the blue banners)
WHAT: What to bring: Sunblock, a hat, water (in a reusable bottle), and reusable gloves (like the ones you’d use for gardening or doing dishes).
The Two Oceans Aquarium Trash Bash receives the support and assistance from the amazing Beach Co-op, a non-profit organisation driving change in single-use plastic through integrated surveys and research-ready beach cleanups. It’s great to have this wonderful organisation on board!
Trash Bash – The Dirty Dozen Method
Aside from the obvious perks of doing a beach cleanup, Trash Bash also contributes to important scientific research by following the Dirty Dozen data collection method.
The Dirty Dozen are the 12 litter items that are most commonly found on our beaches. These are: Carrier bags, chip packets, cigarette lighters, cooldrink bottles, cooldrink lids, earbuds, fishing line, lightsticks, plastic lollipop sticks, straws, sweet wrappers and water bottles.
Attendees work together in groups and record everything collected, paying specific attention to the Dirty Dozen items. At the end of each cleanup, the data is collated and contributes to research tracking the different sources of marine litter.
Our oceans are facing a human-made plastic catastrophe. With estimates being that by 2050 there will be more plastic, by weight, than fish in the ocean, the time is now to make a difference and clean up our acts. Studies have shown that millions of seabirds have ingested plastic and a staggering number of sea animals die each year from plastic ingestion. Plastic has truly permeated into the deepest recesses of our natural world and has even entered our food chain.
Plastic doesn’t break down; it doesn’t degrade and become part of the natural system again. In fact, plastic breaks up. It breaks up into smaller and smaller pieces until it becomes small enough, not only for small fish to mistake it for food, but research has found that even plankton is now mistaking this “forever material” for food and consuming it, introducing it into the food chain at the lowest level.
The question now is: What can we do to stop this pollution of our oceans? Considering that 80% of plastic found in the oceans originates on land, the answer is actually quite simple – we can intervene in the cycle of pollution entering the oceans via land, by removing it from the beaches and preventing it from entering the water in the first place.
For more information about the Trash Bash initiative, click here
Photo by Devon Bowen/Two Oceans Aquarium. Photo by Amina Hoosain/Two Oceans Aquarium