Coast KZN

25 Sep 2022

uShaka Beach coastal clean-up a success

Nia Louw (Berea Mail) Picture: SAAMBR. uShaka Sea World educators Thobeka Buthelezi, Bukhosi Mngomezulu, Sphindile Xulu and Queen Sithole collect tiny plastic pellets called sea nurdles - which have a devastating impact on the environment and marine life - while particpating in the community clean-up to commemorate International Coastal Clean-Up Day.

Community collaboration at its best is exactly what was experienced at the International Coastal Cleanup Day event at uShaka Beach last Saturday on September 17. The cleanup was hosted by the South African Association for Marine Biological Research (SAAMBR), based at uShaka Marine World, and the KwaZulu-Natal Beach Clean-up.

SAAMBR is a non-profit organisation that stimulates community awareness of the marine environment through education. They also promote wise, sustainable use of marine resources through scientific investigation. SAAMBR fulfils this mission by operating the following three divisions: The Oceanographic Research Institute (ORI), uShaka Sea World and uShaka Sea World Education Centre.

Conservation organisation KwaZulu-Natal Beach Clean-up was established in 2011 by a group of friends wanting to keep their local beach clean. They’re now a movement that organises communities to take action against marine pollution through clean-ups, pollution awareness and activism.

Spokesperson for the South African Association for Marine Biological Studies (SAAMBR) Ann Kunz says fun was had by all participants.

“From the uShaka Ocean Warriors, Thandi the Turtle and enthusiastic school groups to early morning joggers and their extended families, Village Walk restaurant employees and surfers, young and old all got together with the shared purpose of contributing to a cleaner beach and ocean for all.”

Miracle Nhleko and Noxolo Khoza are ready to get to work at uShaka Beach for the massive community clean-up. PHOTO: SAAMBR

Five years ago, 49 tons of plastic nurdles were inadvertently released into the Durban Port following a storm, which still affects Durban beaches today. “More than 200 people participated and collected 70 bags of litter along the beachfront on Saturday, with lots of microplastics, nurdles, cigarette butts, but also old shoes and lots of glass bottles picked up.

There was a fantastic vibe and lots of energy,” said Kunz. The SAAMBR spokesperson said that doing good is not only impactful but can be great fun. “We are definitely planning more regular clean-ups to support Durban Solid Waste in keeping the beach as clean as possible and creating more awareness around litter prevention.” Kunz said the clean-up received fantastic support from local sponsors showing their commitment to reducing litter in the environment.

Tafta pensioners Robert Choudree and Pieter Munro do their part to leave a cleaner future generations. PHOTO: SAAMBR

With more than fourteen sponsors overall and a great turn-out and effort from the Durban community, uShaka Beach is now a cleaner space for Durban residents to enjoy.