Schools lead beach clean

The Oban Times - - Dis­tricts -

THE Marine Con­ser­va­tion So­ci­ety and Green­peace joined 25 pri­mary school chil­dren on north-west Mull as part of sci­en­tific ex­pe­di­tion.

Two lead­ing con­ser­va­tion char­i­ties have vis­ited the Isle of Mull as part of a sci­en­tific voy­age around the Scot­tish coast­line look­ing at the im­pact of plas­tic pol­lu­tion.

Green­peace sci­en­tists are cur­rently sail­ing around Scot­land on board Bel­uga II to doc­u­ment how the coun­try’s glob­ally im­por­tant marine life is be­ing af­fected by the ris­ing tide of plas­tic rubbish in our oceans.

The voy­age will see them in­ves­ti­gat­ing im­pacts on the puffins and gan­nets of Bass Rock in the east to the bask­ing sharks of Gunna Sound in the He­brides.

On Mon­day May 22, Bel­uga II moored off the Isle of Mull and Green­peace staff met with a Marine Con­ser­va­tion So­ci­ety (MCS) team to carry out a clean-up and sur­vey the lit­ter on Kil­ninian beach, to­gether with three pri­mary schools – Ulva, Lochdon­head and Der­vaig – and a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the group City to Sea.

Cather­ine Gem­mell, MCS Scot­land Con­ser­va­tion Of­fi­cer, said: ‘ We found more than 30kg of rubbish, made up of a mix­ture of rope, bot­tles, caps and other plas­tic items.

‘To­day was a fan­tas­tic cel­e­bra­tion of work­ing to­gether. It was great to see mem­bers of staff from Green­peace and City to Sea be­ing trained up by some true lo­cal Beach­watch ex­perts – the pupils from three schools.’

Cather­ine Gem­mell con­tin­ues: ‘It was a won­der­ful team ef­fort, but I’d like to give spe­cial men­tion to an amaz­ingly ded­i­cated Sea Cham­pion vol­un­teer Janie Steele from Oban, who has been busy pro­mot­ing the Beach­watch project in the area and thanks to her there are now 12 ex­tra beaches now adopted and send­ing in that all im­por­tant data to MCS.’

Frank Hewe­ston, Green­peace cam­paigner, said: ‘It was fab­u­lous to work with the pri­mary schools dur­ing the beach- clean to­day. Green­peace looks to en­cour­age and sup­port en­vi­ron­men­tal aware­ness at as young an age as pos­si­ble. If Ulva, Lochdon­head and Der­vaig schools are any­thing to go by, there is so much to be hope­ful and pos­i­tive about.’

The MCS runs beach clean and sur­veys through­out the year, and ev­ery­one is wel­come to join in. The next Great Bri­tish Beach Clean will be held from Septem­ber 15 to 18. Go to see www.mc­suk.org for de­tails.

The group picked up masses of lit­ter dur­ing their beach clean.

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