09/08/2011

YOU MUST BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD

Congestion of marine debris in Laganas Bay, Zakynthos, has been an ever increasing problem for the existing biodiversity in the bay. An illegal landfill site positioned above Vrondonero beach poses a variety of problems. The surrounding geomorphology creates a wind tunnel which expels the rubbish to the marine and terrestrial environment creating accumulations in the protected nesting beaches and marine area. As well, large amounts of litter are stranded each year from the sea, such as abandoned fishing gear, bottles and plastic bags that are threat for sea turtles, causing their mortality.

In 2010, a group of volunteers from ARCHELON, The Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece and scouts worked together to clean Vrondonero beach and the marine area adjacent to it, an area that is not daily wardened by the personnel of the NMPZ. The state of the beach and the marine area was very poor, and the effort to collect and remove all the waste for the coastal and marine area was remarkable. On the 3rd August 2011, ARCHELON team decided to repeat this activity!

The previous day, a team of volunteers made over ten ʽsea-friendly bin bagsʼ made from mosquito nets and wire to allow water to pass through whilst cleaning. Over a period of three hours in the heat of the day we worked hard to remove the rubbish from the beach and from the seafloor. The accumulation of litter removed from the beach and from the sea filled over 20 bin bags! Whilst diving and removing the plastic debris, our volunteers had the opportunity to admire many different species of fish, jellyfish and even a seahorse, a positive sign of the rich biodiversity of Laganas Bay.

Due to the success of our marine cleans, we are planning to perform a series of such activities all around the bay until the end of the 2011 season to contribute actively in the improvement of the quality of Laganas Bay, a major Mediterranean habitat for the Loggerhead sea turtle, whilst promoting environmentally friendly behaviour. We hope our efforts will increase the marine life in the NMPZ and make it more ʽTurtle Friendlyʼ. If everyone collects a single discarded plastic bag the state of our world will be greatly improved!

JOIN US! ʽYOU MUST BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLDʼ Mahatma Gandhi

Danielle Gault Public Awareness Leader of ARCHELON Project in Zakynthos

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