Young environmentalists clean up beach litter
An army of young environmentalists removed tonnes of rubbish from several beaches along the east Cork coast in one of the single largest beachclean blitzes in recent years.
The two-day coastal blitz involved more than 160 second-level students from two secondary schools.
Transition year students from St Colman’s Community College in Midleton and from Coláiste an Chroí Naofa in Carraig na bhFear joined forces last Monday to tackle Ballycroneen and Ballybranagan beaches in a massive beach-clean organised by award-winning environment- al group, Clean Coasts Ballynamona.
They spent several hours scouring the beach, rocky outcrops and dunes, and collected a total of 101 bags of rubbish, 13 tyres, fishing boxes and several mounds of old rope fishing nets, some up to 40-yearsold.
It took nearly a dozen students almost half an hour to dig one large fishing net out of the sand. They also recovered a lot of sewage-related litter including cotton bud tips and other various sanitary items.
Almost 50 TY students from St Colman’s hit four beaches last Tuesday — Pilmore, Redbarn, Claycastle and Front Strand in Youghal.
A section of wire fencing, buried up to three feet in sand, was among the litter removed.
Clean Coast Ballynamona coordinator, Proinsias Ó Tuama, praised all the students for their efforts and enthusiasm.
“We know we have a problem with marine litter and with plastic in particular, and it’s up to students like this, as the next generation, to take responsibility,” he said.
“Maybe if you can get them thinking about where litter comes from and is going, then maybe you can help them to make better environmental decisions — like do I have to buy a product wrapped in all that plastic.”
Shauna Neff, Abigail Hennessy, and Jack McFarlane, front, with teacher Emily McHarg, involved in the beach clean in Youghal last week.