Local environmental group Clean Ocean Sailing have been undertaking a new challenge this February. They aimed to clean 10 Beaches in 10 Days under sail in their 112-year-old Schooner ‘The Annette’. Through this they hope to raise awareness of the level of marine plastics found on the Cornish coastline. Supported by a Sea-Changers grant, Clean Ocean Sailing have taken matters into their own hands by cleaning stretches of the Cornish coastline that are only accessible by boat in their 10 Beaches in 10 Days challenge.
Their itinerary included heading down the south coast of Cornwall from Helford river and Fal to Coverack, from the 14th February with several volunteers joining them aboard their historic vessel, The Annette. Clean Ocean Sailing was started back in 2017 by Steve Green and Monika Hertlová who reside on Annette their 112-year-old schooner. They regularly hold beach cleans around the Cornish peninsula, focusing on hard to reach areas that are often over flowing with litter that has been dumped by the ocean tides. They have also ventured further afield to places such as the Isles of Scilly were they have been given special permission by the Wildlife Trust to clean the protected archipelago. According to reports, eight million tonnes of plastic waste enters our oceans every year, the equivalent of a garbage truck full of plastic dumping its contents into the sea every minute. It is also estimated that microplastics now outnumber plankton in our oceans 26 to 1.
Steve Green, Co-founder of Clean Ocean Sailing Says, ‘Plastic is suffocating our oceans and it is something we can see on the Cornish coast every day. By taking on this challenge we hope to shine a light on how much plastic is dumped on our beaches and threatening our wildlife. This is not just a problem you see in other countries, its right on our doorstep.’
‘We couldn’t do voyages like this without support of local businesses such as Seaware who are helping us keep our vessel seaworthy. We are also very grateful to Sea-Changers and Isles of Scilly Steamship Group for supporting us on our clean up mission‘, added Monika Hertlová Co-founder of Clean Ocean Sailing.
To date Clean Ocean Sailing has removed upwards of 20 tonnes of plastic from the Cornwall coast. Last year alone, with the help of dedicated volunteers, they cleaned 78 beaches and picked up over 45,500 pieces of plastic that would have otherwise ended up back in our oceans.
All photos copyrighted to Clean Ocean Sailing
Clean Ocean Sailing have started a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for clean up expeditions in 2020. Anyone can support us to continue their work here.