The week of 10th-18th May 2014 was Keep Wales Tidy‘s Clean Coasts Week . Rubbish and litter on our coast lines is a threat to our marine wildlife. Often the litter from beaches can end up washed or blown into the sea, where whales and dolphins, and other marine wildlife, are at risk from entanglement or ingestion of litter. As part of this week, Sea Watch hosted an event in New Quay with pupils from the local primary school; Ysgol Cei Newydd.
We were lucky to have perfect weather and calm seas resulting in a lovely morning on the beach. Dolau beach is a small, sheltered place which at first appears very clean. We started by having a talk about litter, how it gets on our beaches, what problems it causes and how we can stop it.
We laid out a special rope on the beach marked with the lengths of different species, with the blue whale reaching a massive 30m. The challenge was to see how far the twenty children could reach on the rope. Despite their best efforts, they only made it to the length of a Northern Right Whale!
Litter pickers where handed out, and recorders chose to write down what rubbish we found. As Dolau Beach appears very clean we weren’t expecting to find much litter at all, so we were shocked to discover that we managed to fill two whole bags of litter!
This goes to show that even the cleanest looking beach can still have lots of litter on it.
Some of the rubbish we found:
Plastic Bucket 1
Small Tyre 1
Bottle Tops 9
Plastic Bottles 8
Plastic Carrier Bags 9
Plastic Wrappers 21
Drinks Cans 8
Cigarette Butts 34
Party Whistle 1
…and many more!
After picking up the litter, we divided into groups to make anti litter posters in the sand, to help remind other beach users not to drop litter. All the children did a fantastic job, as you can see from the photos!
Overall, it was a lovely morning, with lots learnt by everyone; from the length of class 3 & 4 (in terms of whale length!) to how much rubbish a clean beach can have on it.
I’ll leave you with a message from class 3 of Ysgol Cei Newydd:
Thank you to Richard from Keep Wales Tidy for providing support and the equipment, and a massive thank you to the staff and pupils from Ysgol Cei Newydd for joining us on the beach.
Education & Awareness Intern.