Extensive participation of Greek volunteers in the actions of the “Let’s Cleanup Europe” Campaign
May and June were two months full of voluntary cleanups and care for our marine and natural environment, during which HELMEPA coordinated this European initiative for the 6th consecutive year in Greece.
So far, we have received reports of 107 cleanup actions of coastal, underwater, park, forest and mountain areas, with the participation of 5,303 volunteers.
The vast majority of volunteers were student – members of the “HELMEPA Junior” and “HELMEPA Cadets” Programs and teachers of 73 Kindergartens, Primary and High Schools. Participants also included 27 local unions, cultural associations and volunteer groups, 10 Port Authorities and Port Stations 6 HELMEPA member companies, 21 other companies and organizations and citizens of all ages.
This year’s initiative featured a high participation of volunteers on the islands of Alonissos, Amorgos, Andros, Astypalaia, Chios, Crete, Leros, Lesvos, Limnos, Naxos, Rhodes and Zakynthos. A map containing all the Greek areas where cleanups were conducted is provided at the following link https://bit.ly/2XnvB04.
HELMEPA staff had the opportunity to attend cleanup actions and inform volunteers about pollution, mainly due to plastics, during the cleanups organized by HELMEPA member companies and one by the Mexican Embassy in Athens.
We participated at “Sea Days” organized by the Municipality of Piraeus with a symbolic voluntary cleanup of Freattyda beach on May 10th. Participants include citizens of Piraeus, HELMEPA “Cadets”, children-members of the “HELMEPA Junior” Program of the 14th Kindergarten of Nikea, teachers and parents.
On May 17th we participated at the coastal cleanup of the archaeological site of Heraion Perachora, in the Municipality of Loutraki. The “Nireas” Association, the Archaeological Ephorate of Corinth, the “Angels of the Seas” Association, students of the 3rd Lyceum of Corinth and volunteers of Loutraki Dive Club, all assisted in the organization of the cleanup. A summary video can be found on the following link: https://youtu.be/mKm9t52hExU?t=6.
HELMEPA also celebrated World Environment Day on June 5th, at Astypalaia, during the local Children’s Book Festival. We coordinated cleanups of “Livadi” and Pera Gialos” beaches, with the participation of students of the Primary School and the Kindergarten of the island, along with teachers, parents, festival organizers and representatives of the Municipality.
World Oceans Day (June 8th) was also celebrated with two cleanups of the beach and the wetland of the Schinias National Park, with the assistance of the Schinias-Marathon National Park Management Authority, “Aegean Rebreath”, the Alumni Association of Doukas Schools and pupils and teachers of the 45th Primary School of Athens.
We also accepted the invitation of the Central Port Authority of Kalamata, and contributed to the beach and underwater cleanup on the eastern front of Kalamata beach, on Friday, June 21st. Snapshots of the cleanup can be found here: https://youtu.be/ufYp8cCmiFg.
Participants throughout Greece were provided with detailed guidelines on the organization of cleanups and the recordings of litter findings on special data cards. The total findings regarding the types, quantities and sources of marine litter in Greece will be announced at the end of July by HELMEPA. We awarded 1.500 commemorative participation diplomas to the coordinators, children and youth that took part in the cleanups.
AND of course – we are waiting to join us in our next major campaign, the International Coastal Cleanup, September 14th – October 31st, 2019.