Project “Clean Islands” comes to a close
The “Clean Islands” project came to a close on the island of Poros with joint beach and underwater cleanup activities implemented between 9-11 November by the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association – HELMEPA and the “Aegean Rebreath” Social Cooperative in collaboration with the Local Municipality.
The activities started in July in Naxos and besides Poros, included cleanups on the islands of Aegina, Kea, Marmari of Evia and Tinos. The aim of the program, which was implemented with the support of the A. C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation, was the prevention of pollution and protection of the marine environment by informing and sensitizing fishermen, local stakeholders and the wider public.
In Poros, cleanups were conducted along northern beaches with the participation of students and teachers from the 1st Primary School and the High School of Poros and volunteers from the Municipality of Poros-Troizinia, as well as underwater cleanups at the port of Poros and reefs, where abandoned nets were pulled up from the seabed. The Mayor of Poros Mr. J. Dimitriadis actively participated in both beach and underwater cleanups giving the example for the wide participation of the local community in the actions. Also, littered remote northern shores of the island were photographed in order to highlight the problem of floating plastic litter originating from urban areas and reaching distant northern coats via winds and sea currents.
A specially designed protocol was used for the recording of litter based on European and international standards, so that the results will help to improve scientific knowledge on marine litter in island regions of Greece.
The activities of the “Clean Islands” project were widely covered by national and foreign media. Indicatively, a crew of Spain’s state TV channel (TVE) traveled specifically to our country to record the cleanups in Poros and HELMEPA’s training initiatives for seafarers and students as part of a documentary on plastic pollution that will be projected to millions of viewers in Spain and Latin America.
HELMEPA warmly thanks the volunteer divers of “Aegean Rebreath” for their valuable cooperation, the A.C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation for supporting the project and the Municipalities, Port Authorities, local stakeholders and the educational community for their warm response and participation in the activities.