A toilet seat, electrical wiring complete with a socket, a bag full of dirty diapers, snorkelling gear, and a diving suit are some of the items volunteers picked up from the annual beach clean-up organized by the Seychelles Parks and Gardens Authority (SPGA) and Nature Seychelles’ LEAP (Locally Empowered Area Protection) project at the Baie Ternay Marine National Park on Saturday.
Various people converged at Cap Ternay to join in the cleanup
This strange assortment of trash was beside the usual assortment of plastics such as bottles, spoons, and forks, empty glass bottles and cans of alcoholic beverages, Styrofoam, flip-flops, caps, and lids.
The responsible parties who converged at Cap Ternay to join in the clean-up activity included children and teachers of Port Glaud Primary School, members of the Rotary Club, the Port Glaud Member of National Assembly, and the District Administration. They were organized into groups that cleaned up at Anse Souillac, Cap Ternay, Anse du Riz, and Gran Pyes beaches, as well the road that leads to the Cap Ternay beach. Working under unrelenting rain, they collected over 130kgs of trash from the 4 beaches. This amount was comparatively less than in the previous year, where approximately 170kg of rubbish was collected at 2 sites.
The different types of items collected
Participants remarked that, once again, most of the rubbish was collected at Anse Soulliac, which is more accessible to the public, and that increased sensitisation and enforcement are required to keep this beach, which is part of a marine national park, clean. The other beaches had less rubbish. This may be due to limited access, coupled with the restrictions on movement and assembly, as well as weekly beach clean-ups by the NGO Global Vision International, which is based at Cap Ternay. Less rubbish is good news, as it is evidence of the collaborative efforts of various stakeholders of the marine national park to keep it clean. However, more is needed to ensure that we stop trash from ending up on the beaches and ocean, to begin with. The park has some of the country’s most stunning landscapes and seascapes. It is important to preserve its natural beauty and to protect it for future generations to enjoy.
The Port Glaud MNA, Egbert Aglae, reiterated this and said that picnickers who use the Anse du Riz site where he took part in the clean-up needed to dispose of their trash properly.
The mangroves at Anse Souillac. The beach here has more trash
SPGA’s Roland Quarte said he was pleased with the day’s outcome and hoped these collaborative efforts will continue. Nature Seychelles’ LEAP technical coordinator, Corinne Julie, said that the project is promoting Nature Seychelles concept of ‘Shared Responsibility’ which is anyone can, and should, get involved in the management of the environment as long as they share the same values and objectives and come together for common actions. She said she was encouraged to see the number of children who came to join in the activity, adding that the actions of adults and children alike will make a tremendous difference in trying to maintain pristine marine protected areas.
“This all helps the movement towards Co-Management of Baie Ternay and Port Launay Marine Parks, the ultimate aim of the LEAP project,” said Dr. Nirmal Shah the CEO of Nature Seychelles who also participated in the activity.