OH we do like to be beside the seaside… and we do like to clean the seaside too.
Environmentalists have hailed Blackpool’s first beach clean such a success they are making it a monthly affair.
Nearly 100 people braved bad weather for the seaside clean up this month collecting more than 70kg of waste and rubbish.
The resort’s Golden Mile is now looking brighter than ever and staff from the Sea Life Centre, who organised the clean-up along with Blackpool Council, United Utilities, the Marine Conservation Society and the Environment Agency, have pledged to continue the work.
Jenn Newton, general manager at Sea Life Blackpool, said: “The first Blackpool beach clean was a brilliant success, not only do the beaches now look better but they are now much safer for our native marine life.
“A huge thank you to everyone involved. I hope we can encourage even more people to join us next month to really make a difference to the quality of Blackpool’s beaches.”
An array of litter like cigarette butts and plastic bags were collected by volunteers, but some unusual items were also picked up including a pram, crowd management barriers, fishing net, hazard tape and metal bolts.
The beach watch initiative, which forms part of the Marine Conservation Society’s (MCS) beach clean and litter survey, aims to highlight issues of beach litter around the UK’s coastline.
Levels of beach litter have doubled over the last decade meaning some of the nation’s favourite marine wildlife such as otters, seals and dolphins are under direct threat from waste and litter dumped in the sea.
And it is not just marine life and animals who can be affected by unclean beaches and bathing water.
The Gazette last week reported how an estimated £1bn could be lost from the Fylde coast’s tourism if action is not taken to clean up the sea, according to environment minister Richard Benyon at the Turning Tides summit on sea standards. But beach cleans are already popular along the Wyre and Fylde coasts, as regeneration work of the promenades and specialist beach care groups encourage individuals and businesses to think about their effect on the seaside.
Details of future beach cleans can be found on the Sea Life Blackpool Facebook page. Visit www.facebook.com/sealifeblackpool
DON’T BLOCK DRAINS
>> Most homes or businesses on the Fylde use a combined sewer system meaning sewers take away rain water as well as waste water. Blockages from waste can cause overspills not only of rubbish onto beaches but the flood water we have seen in recent weeks due to blocked drains.
>> The main ‘offenders’ causing blocked drains are sanitary waste, baby wipes, cotton buds and fats or greases disposed of down drains – these cause up to 75 per cent of blockages each year.