SURFRIDER BRAZIL BEACH, ISLAND AND UNDERWATER CLEAN UP.
Last weekend Surfrider Foundation Brasil organized a Clean Up in partnership with PADI’s AWARE Project. We focused on Angra dos Reis, a municipality located 2 hours south of Rio de Janeiro that has approximately 360 Islands. We had 200 volunteers participating with two Catamarans and two divers boat.
We organized three groups, One group focused on a beach called Praia da Vila do Frade located near a Village on the continent, a Second group was formed by a group of 40 Divers that focused on an area close to an Island called Josefa, the Third group gathered at a Beach called Praia do Dentista on Gipoia Island.
We also had a group of 10 kids from our Project Rocinha Surf Club (in Rio’s Slum) participating of the Clean Up. For these kids who had never been in a resort, on a boat or on a island it was a stimulating experience. The kids that participated of this field trip were chosen based on there commitment with the project and grades at school. It was a special reward/ prize for participant. They were all stoked with this life experience. Bocao, the community leader, said that this kind of reward is priceless and very stimulating for the kids, it makes them want to improve and have something to look up to.
This project was sponsored by Frade Golf Resort, E-brigade and was organized in partnership with PADI.
Our objective was to clean up as much as possible and compare the types of pollution/ waste found in these three different scenarios.
On continent we collected many cigarette buds, plastic bottles, condoms, small plastic wraps, straws among others. Most of this waste was produced by the local community. About 100 kilos total.
On our diving we found mostly leftovers from houses built on the islands such as painting cans and brushes, working boots, rake, shovel, wheel barrel, we also gathered car tires, pesticide can, bottles among others. About 350 kilos total.
On our Beach Clean Up at the island we found fisherman and beach goers leftover material such as Styrofoam, fishing net, ropes, plastic covers, plastic and glass bottles, beach chairs, cans, plastic wraps among others. About 750 kilos.
At all we collected more than 1 ton of waste. If we project these numbers based on the number of islands x houses built we can state that millions of tons of waste pollute the regions fragile ecosystem. The region also suffers with the lack of appropriate sewage treatment plants and because of a Petroleum Terminal.
We are organizing our next clean-up for March of 2007 and will try to get at least 3 times as much volunteers so we can triple the reach of our clean up and through this create public awareness and an environmental education platform.
By Sergio Mello
Surfirder Foundation Brasil