On Sunday 3rd June over 400 people took to Cleethorpes Discovery Centre and Beach Hut #9 to partake in Voluntary Action North East Lincolnshire’s (VANEL’s) 3rd annual World Oceans Day Event making it the largest event to date.
World Oceans Day (WOD) is a global day of ocean celebration which encourages people to learn more about our oceans and marine life, and work together in order to conserve and protect them. Capitalising on this year’s theme, “Prevent Plastic Pollution Resources and Encourage Solutions for a Healthy Ocean”, VANEL organised and ran a Plastic Sculptures competition that was open to schools, organisations and individuals alike. With a massive 48 entries into the competition, judging was opened up to the public and the sculptures put into the following categories: Biggest Impact, Most Original and Most Educational. Successful entries included:
Two of the winning entries came from pupils of Cloverfield Academy in Humberston. Due to the monumental efforts shown by the school, Anglian Water has rewarded the school with a Hot Compost Bin worth £180.
Alongside the Plastic Sculptures competition, VANEL hosted a stall on behalf of Anglian Water which showed the length of time items such as plastic bottles, nappies and glass took to degrade in a marine environment.
Continuing the plastics reduction theme, Girl Guiding Lincolnshire North and the Young Advisors used a multitude of plastics to make crafts for attendees to take home. Girl Guides Lincolnshire North used plastic bottles and bags to create jelly fish while the Young Advisor used the event to promote their own campaign by creating bird feeders out of plastics and marine litter.
‘The Environment Now’ funded Virtual Reality project Pipes Away returned. Pipes Away uses Virtual Reality to immerse users into their sewage pipes to take on blockages made up of Fats, Oils and Grease, Nappies, Wet Wipes and other common household blockages that water boards face on a daily basis. From this, users fast forward through time to see the detrimental effects sewage has on our beaches and coastlines should they fail to clear the blockages. The Environment Now is a funded project, through O2 Think Big, National Youth Agency and Our Bright Future, which gave 50 young entrepreneurs and innovators across the United Kingdom £10,000 to tackle pressing environmental issues.
The day also saw the return of another ‘The Environment Now’ project Longstrip Wildlife. World Oceans Day say Longstrip Wildlife offer free rock painting to attendee’s with the idea of getting the participants to paint rocks and go out into their local parks, beaches and green spaces to hide the rocks for others to find.
Starting at Beach Hut #9, Cleethorpes Beach Care led by Peter Kingsford led two armies of volunteers, totalling approx. 30 people, on a mission with one group heading towards Cleethorpes Leisure Centre and the other towards the Meridian Globe. In total, 2kg of Dog Foul was removed along with 15 full bags of litter. Interesting finds included 2 car tyres, a wooden pallet and a large metal sheet measuring in at 6ft by 2ft.
Outside of the discovery centre, bubbles could be seen floating across the boating lake whilst life-sized inflatable whales and dolphin provided by the British Divers Marine Life Rescue could be seen sitting outside. We were also fortunate enough to have EFAM’s (Event Medical & Water Rescue Services) deliver CPR and generic first aid training to those who were interested.
Back inside the RNLI, Associated British Ports (ABP), The Merchant Naval Association and Careers at Sea offered valuable information on their organisations and their conservation efforts both locally and globally as well as how people can join their organisations as volunteers.
Talking at the end of the day event, co-organiser Victoria Russell, 23, said “It’s been amazing to see so many individuals and organisations get on board. Plastics are becoming a real problem in our oceans as they effect not online marine life, but our own lives to through the fishing industry to the fish that we eat.”
With the event falling inside National Volunteer’s Week, we would like to publically thank all our volunteers who helped on the day for giving up their time and helping on such a successful day.
For more on World Oceans Day as well as to find out about upcoming events in the area please visit: www.worldoceansday.org
This event was delivered by Voluntary Action North East Lincolnshire’s IGNITE team. IGNITE work with 16 – 30 year olds to put on social action events and campaigns across North East Lincolnshire in an effort to encourage leadership. For more information about IGNITE or put on your own event, contact the IGNITE team today on: (01472) 315 437 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.