Our Coastal Warden Volunteers have a busy few days ahead with two beach cleans planned.
On Thursday 21st March, we will be working along the beach at St Lawrence Bay near Maldon. Starting at 11am, we will be meeting outside the Stone Inn. On Saturday 23rd March, we will be working at Harwich beach. Again starting at 11am, we will meet at Wellington Road car park. Do come along if you can.
Why is beach cleaning so important?
The litter washing up on our shores is not just unpleasant to look at, some of our best-loved marine wildlife is under threat from the waste and litter in our seas, with hundreds of species accidentally eating or becoming entangled in litter. Litter on our beaches is also hazardous to people so we all have a part to play in turning the tide on litter. Over 170 species including seabirds, turtles and whales have mistaken marine litter for food and actually eaten it, which in many cases has resulted in starvation, poisoning and ultimately a slow, painful death. Plastic packaging and discarded fishing nets also injure, entangle and drown some of Britain’s favourite marine animals, including seals and dolphins.
Balloons found on a recent beach clean in Essex. These pose a real threat to seabirds, turtles and cetaceans as well as terrestrial animals who mistake them for food.
Marine Conservation Society Beachwatch surveys have recorded a steady increase in the amount of beach litter since 1994. The four main sources of litter found on UK beaches come from the public, fishing, sanitary waste (particularly cotton bud sticks) and shipping.
Essex Coastal Wardens wants local communities to come down to their beaches and take
part in an event that will not only make the beach look great for visitors, but will also help us identify where the litter comes and try to stop it at source. We pass all survey results to the MCS Beachwatch and results are vital in turning the tide on litter. They have helped influence changes to laws on the disposing of waste at sea, and resulted in investment in better sewage treatment at the coast. Local beach cleans like the ones at St Lawrence Bay & Harwich all help towards highlighting this serious issue.
The latest Essex Coastal Warden Volunteer Activites programme is now ready and we have a busy couple of months ahead with plenty of volunteering opportunities to keep you busy! We have beach cleans/litter picks taking place through out the county and some new footpath inspection walks which will incorporate a nature walk so do come along and find out more about our amazing coastline and the wildlife which resides here.
We are also launching the new Essex Coastal Wardens training programme which will be completely free of charge and open to anyone who is interested in learning more about the coastline and how to organise beach cleans or similar events in their local area. We are looking for volunteers who would be willing to organise beach cleans and other events in their local area. Two introductory meetings will be held in early March to introduce the training programme and the wildlife of the Essex coast. To whet your appetite, future training will include coastal bird identification, coastal flora & fauna, shoresearch surveys and intertidal wildlife, map reading, first aid and project organisation.
As always, it is recommended that you book onto any of our events so please do give the office a call on 01206 764470 for any futher information or to reserve a place.
FOr a copy of our VOlunteer Activity Programme please click here: CWS Programme Feb – Mar 2013