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BEACH CLEANING

RATIONALE

Beaches are an important part of life in coastal cities because, in addition to the wide range of recreational opportunities they offer, they provide unique habitats for a variety of plants and animals, serve as a buffer against strong winds and waves, and help to promote economic activity - important for our community and surroundings. 


However, as the number of people on the beaches increases, the amount of garbage also increases since, in many cases, the waste is forgotten and blown away by the wind, generating serious problems.

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At the national level, Argentina is currently among the 30 countries that throw the most waste into the sea. According to the latest 2019 Marine Coastal Litter Census carried out by the Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina and other coastal NGOs, the types of contaminants most found on the beaches were: cigarette butts (27%); fragments (20%), wrappers (8.1%) and bags (6.2%) of plastics; Styrofoam (8.6%), bottles and other containers (6.9%) and caps (6.2%). Of the most polluting residue, which are cigarette butts, 16,325 units were found. An alarming fact if one considers that each one of them can contaminate between eight and 10 liters of salt water and up to 50 liters if it is fresh water www.vidasilvestre.org.ar

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These statistics have a fundamental value to understand the behavior and origin of the garbage that is found on the beaches of our locality and, therefore, to make us aware that the majority of the garbage is generated by our own waste and its modification requires the commitment of everyone, for a more responsible consumption that prevents this waste from ending up on our coasts, affecting environmental and human health.


Faced with this problem, concrete actions arise, such as beach cleanups, which teach by example and bring together many volunteers with a common cause. 

ACTION

In this context, on the coast of Puerto Madryn for ten years, the annual beach cleaning campaign called "I love my beach" has been carried out, which was extended to different points such as Puerto Pirámides and Cracker Bay.
The main objective of this campaign is to make the population aware of the risks of waste on our coasts/beaches and to emphasize our responsibility to care for it, because caring for the environment is caring for health, biodiversity and the landscape, but it is, above all, respect ourselves as citizens and make the sense of the common good prevail.

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During the development of the activity, citizens and visitors to the beach are invited to participate, voluntarily and free of charge, bags, gloves, hats and snacks are distributed and a cleaning of the beach, coast, dunes and in recent years through divers the cleaning of the depth of the sea was added. Then  the garbage is quantified by classifying it into plastic, cardboard or paper, glass, scrap metal, cigarette butts, etc., to be sent to the nearest disposal center.

Various organizations related to the cause have also participated and are participating in these campaigns, as well as we have participated in initiatives of other organizations.

The “I love my Beach” campaign culminates with a talk that allows conclusions and proposals to be shared, deepening awareness and the importance of caring for our coasts. 


We understand that our commitment as citizens involves generating greater social awareness of environmental problems by communicating and promoting environmental education in the community through action.


The proximity to the sea reveals its best secrets but at the same time puts into play how sensitive this ecosystem is and our obligation to protect and respect it.