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Fingal coastal communities called to action for Dublin’s Big Beach Clean

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Clean Coasts launch the 2022 Big Beach Clean, sponsored by Cully and Sully. Left to right - Elaine Doyle – Clean Coasts Campaigns Officer, Colum O'Sullivan – Founder of Cully & Sully and Cullen Allen – Founder of Cully & Sully. Photos: Cathal Noonan

Clean Coasts launch the 2022 Big Beach Clean, sponsored by Cully and Sully. Left to right - Elaine Doyle – Clean Coasts Campaigns Officer, Colum O'Sullivan – Founder of Cully & Sully and Cullen Allen – Founder of Cully & Sully. Photos: Cathal Noonan

Clean Coasts launch the 2022 Big Beach Clean, sponsored by Cully and Sully. Left to right - Elaine Doyle – Clean Coasts Campaigns Officer, Colum O'Sullivan – Founder of Cully & Sully and Cullen Allen – Founder of Cully & Sully. Photos: Cathal Noonan

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The Big Beach Clean initiative is back, and Clean Coasts, supported by Cully and Sully, are calling people all across Fingal’s coastal communities to register to receive clean-up kits and join the world biggest clean-up.

In 2021, a record number of over 400 clean-ups were organised by volunteers who removed 42 tonnes of litter across the whole country. This represented a 5% decrease in litter found across Ireland, compared to the previous year campaign, which reflects the incredible work that Irish volunteers do all year round to tackle litter, as well as more conscious behaviours by beach users.

Last year, a record number of over 400 clean-ups were organised by volunteers who removed 42 tonnes of litter across the country. In addition, more volunteers joined clean-ups facilitated by Clean Coasts officers in 8 different locations around Ireland.

The Big Beach Clean is an annual call to action and this year it will run from 16th to 18th September, as part of the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), operated internationally by Ocean Conservancy. This call to action invites communities and volunteers around the country to remove litter from around the Irish coast after the end of the bathing season. This initiative is also an opportunity for volunteers to get involved in a worldwide citizen science project, which entails collecting the amount and types of litter on Irish beaches and filling in Clean Coasts’ Marine Litter Data Cards. This will help heighten awareness about the issue of marine litter serving as an indicator of the magnitude of the problem and help shape future policies and campaigns.

The 2021 results have been shared with Ocean Conservancy and, in Ireland and regionally in Dublin, they have been used to shape Clean Coasts campaigns designed both for registered groups and the general public, tackling the top 10 offenders, such as cigarette butts, plastic bottles and food packaging.

This year, Clean Coasts are calling not only Clean Coasts groups and people who would traditionally be involved in environmental activities to join. Clean Coasts, with the support of Content Creators, are asking everybody in the community to get involved and find out more about the benefits of taking part in a beach clean and international citizen science project, which go beyond the environmental aspect of the initiative.

Dublin based creators Deric Hartigan (TV presenter), James Kavanagh (presenter and owner of food business Currabinny), and Niamh Maher (travel expert and blogger from Exploring Ireland) are joining us this year to make a difference for our ocean and are hoping to inspire more people to sign up for the Big Beach Clean. They will also be joined by Aoife McNamara, fashion designer and founder of eco-conscious, Limerick based fashion brand, Aoife Ireland.

Our ocean supports livelihood and certain businesses, from hospitality to tourism, to fishing, and more depend on a clean and healthy ocean. People engaged in water sports, whether in a professional way or as a hobby, would join this call to action to protect their “playground”. Some artists might draw inspiration from the ocean, and, for this reason, they want to do something to protect it.

Coastal communities take pride in the beauty of the place they live in and want to keep it clean; moreover, a cleaner place to live means having better health and wellbeing. The ocean does a lot for our mental health and wellbeing, and so some participants might want to give something back to it. Finally, in the overall climate emergency, some people want to be an active part of the solution, and by taking part in this citizen science project, they will be able to play a key role.

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