The North East SeaScapes partnership will aid the fight against marine pollution as part of the Marine Conservation Society’s Great British Beach Clean 2022.
Held between September 17-25, the general public are urged to attend five beach cleans that the organisation is organising at Crimdon North, Seaton Carew, Blast Beach (Seaham), Red Acre Beach (Seaham) and Seaham Hall Beach.
Each clean will include a litter survey that records all items of rubbish they find within a 100m stretch. The data is used to make a positive change on the ocean, while also informing the Government of the environmental impact. The data that has been produced in previous years has led to the introduction of the plastic bag charge, the banning of microplastics in personal care products, better labelling of wet wipes and a tax on single-use plastic items.
Louise Harrington, SeaScapes Beach Clean Officer, was astounded by the statistics from last year’s event. “It’s quite eye-opening to think that an average of 385 items of litter were collected per 100m in the 2021 event and serves as a stark reminder of the importance of keeping our beaches clean. The introduction of the 5p plastic bag charge saw related beach litter drop 55%.
SeaScapes Great British Beach Clean 2022 dates:
Saturday, Sept 24: Red Acre Beach, Seaham 10am-noon
Sunday, Sept 25: 25th Seaham Hall Beach 10am-noon
Clare Trotman, Beachwatch Officer at the Marine Conservation Society, said: “We wouldn’t be able to do the work we do at the Marine Conservation Society without the support of our volunteers heading out to the coast to collect vital information on what’s polluting our seas.
“With beach cleans happening across the UK, from remote beaches to busy seaside resorts, there’s so many ways to get involved and support us this year. If you can’t make it to the beach, you can still take part by doing a local litter pick and survey where you live.”
The SeaScapes project is led by Durham County Council and consists of a consortium of partners united in their collective mission to influence support and increase protection of our sea and coastline.
Its focus and main geographical area of work is the England Coast Path running along the Tyne to Tees shore, covering an area up to six nautical miles out to sea. Characterised by unique magnesium limestone geology 250 million years in the making, and from industry to war, pre-history to the modern day, the heritage of this dynamic seascape is born from the sea.
In its first year, SeaScapes produced remarkable results, connecting 5,000 people with the ocean between the River Tyne and River Tees, while more than 1,300 bags of rubbish were removed from beaches across the North East.
Karen Daglish, SeaScapes Manager, added: “A lot of our work couldn’t happen without the contributions of others, so thanks must go to National Lottery players as the SeaScapes team is able to run projects and activities to connect the communities through funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.”