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Marine litter 'crisis' prompts beach clean-up

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 01, 2013

Environmental campaigners Surfers Against Sewage are seeking volunteers for this year's Big Spring Beach Clean, due to be held next month

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Environmental campaigners have launched their annual spring clean of Westcounty beaches.

Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) are calling on coastal communities to do their bit for this year's Big Spring Beach Clean due to be held on March 22, 23 and 24.

SAS leaders are seeking volunteers to lead their own clean-up operations with their advice, equipment and promotional materials to ensure safe and successful events.

Sadly, they say, springtime often reveals the true depth of the marine litter problem.

The impact of winter storms and absence of seasonal council beach cleaning operations cause an accumulation of litter which can prove unsightly.

Debris gathered from the beaches includes rubbish from beach users, sewage-related debris, waste from commercial shipping, nets and fish boxes from fishing vessels and medical waste.

Hugo Tagholm, SAS executive director, said it was vital to protect the shoreline by keeping beaches clean.

He said: "The marine litter crisis is a major issue hitting beautiful beaches right around the UK. The SAS Big Spring Beach Clean empowers communities and educates the public on how we can all play our part in turning the tide of marine litter."

Some experts belive marine litter could reduce the resilience of marine ecosystems and add to other human impacts on the marine environment, such as inappropriate development, sewage and agricultural pollution and climate change.

Materials provided by SAS to volunteers organising beach cleans include Big Spring Beach Clean posters, an organiser's guide, digital artwork, heavy duty gloves and degradable bin bags.

For more details and to register an event contact SAS on 01872 553 001 or email dom@sas.org.uk

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