With high tides and high hopes environmental cleanup volunteers set out on Friday morning with a clear objective. Clean up the beach at Ao Nang. The stage was set, the rain held off and together with their bags and gloves, the masses were ready. Support from Chong Pli School, Anyavee Resorts, the Thai Royal Navy, the Tourist Police, the Marine Police, Krabi Resort, Krabi Magazine, Projects Aboard, Krabi Natural Resources and Environment office, Blue Mango Restaurant and One Stop Dive and together with staff from Kon-Tiki Diving and Snorkeling Centre here in Ao Nang, they set off on a cleaning spree.
Items like plastic bottle tops, cigarette butts and broken glass where common. Other items included shoes, fishing line and fishing nets. Stranger items like parts of boat, jewelry and even television parts were also found! All of these things, however, have one thing in common – they are manmade and they do not belong in the marine environment.
Marine pollution is fast becoming a huge concern for the health of our oceans. For example did you know there is a garbage patch in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that is the size of the US State of Texas! All of this has come from discarded manmade items and unless we change the way we look at packaging, the use of none degradable materials in there use and how we then either recycle of dispose of that packing, then this problem is only going to get worse.
The good news is that this could be a very easy problem to overcome. So what can you do to help? Well, first of all, getting involved in local beach cleanup operations is a direct action approach. Have a look at http://www.projectaware.org to find out when and where the next beach cleanup is going on near you. Project AWARE (Aquatic World Awareness Responsibility and Education) is a none profit organisation dedicated to the protection of our marine environment. Ask at any PADI Dive centre or resort near you for more details.
Secondly little things such as saying no to plastic bags which are a major contributor to marine debris. Recycle your aluminum cans. If you are a smoker pay attention to where those cigarette butts go once you’ve finished. All of these things add up to make a difference. And don’t stop there. You can also make a difference by helping spread the word. Tell your friends. Encourage them to be less wasteful and more environmentally aware.
Marine pollution not only threatens animals like turtles, fish and sea birds but ultimately it threatens us too. Our oceans are vitally important to the health of our planet. Our home. And it’s the only one we have. So before you buy those groceries from the supermarket, stop and think. Do I really need that plastic bag or could I manage without it?
We would like also to thank our generous sponsors – Pong Sak Water Supply. Carnivore Steak and Grill, Macro, Blue Mango Restaurant, Presert Fruit Shop, One Stop Dive & Aquamaster, Phuket.
Kon-Tiki Krabi Co., Ltd.