Beachwatch: What Is It and How Can You Get Involved?
The Beachwatch project is part of the Marine Conservation Society’s campaign to keep the seas and beaches free of litter. The project has been running since 1994, and volunteers clean and survey beaches in their local area. The scheme covers the whole of the UK. A survey is carried out every season of the year, and the Big Beach Weekend takes place in the 3rd weekend of September each year. The information collected from this survey is used as part of the International Coastal Cleanup, where beaches across the world are cleaned on the same day to tackle litter globally.
What happens with the survey results?
The results are used to raise awareness about litter, the effects on marine life and the environment, and to tackle the causes.
Things to consider if you want to take part in a cleanup
Obviously, when dealing with waste, safety is a concern. All sorts of things wash up, or are dumped on beaches and you need to be careful.
Wear gloves at all times. Suitable footwear and suntan lotion are also a must.
Don’t touch anything that appears to be a hazardous substance.
Sharps such as discarded needles should be put into designated sharps disposal containers, not into bin bags. This goes for glass too.
Take care when walking over rocks which may be slippery, and don’t lift anything that is too heavy for you.
Know when the tide is coming in. The event organiser should have these details, you don’t want to get stranded!
For further information on a cleanup near you, or to get involved, visit www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch