The Port Glaud community and other concerned citizens came together for a Nature Seychelles and Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA) led clean-up of the Baie Ternay Marine National Park for World Cleanup Day. Over 200kgs of mixed waste was collected in one and a half hours.
The enthusiastic group of volunteers who cleaned up Baie Ternay
The enthusiastic group of 50 volunteers was made up of members of the Locally Empowered Area Protection (LEAP) project, Port Glaud Primary School students and teachers, Global Vision International, Hunt Deltel, and staff of Nature Seychelles and SNPA.
The clean-up at the tiny Anse Souillac cove produced the most trash with 151.2kgs collected. This area has been flagged as a hotspot for littering by merrymakers. At the main Baie Ternay beach, 70.5kgs of trash were collected.
Most of the rubbish was collected at Anse Souillac
The waste was mostly single-use plastic bottles, cans, and glass bottles. Other items included clothing, shoes, pieces of metal, and discarded fishing gear.
An iconic and flagship marine park, Baie Ternay is loved for its incredible natural beauty and abundant marine biodiversity.
Unfortunately, it has not been spared from the litter affecting our oceans and beaches. While trash is washed up from the sea, a recent problem has been littering by visitors.
Speaking after the clean-up Nature Seychelles Chief Executive Dr. Nirmal Shah said, "we can see clearly from the nature of the trash that picnickers and merrymakers are the major culprits. The people who frequent this place do not value it because they have turned it into a refuse pit. It’s a crying shame that after 30 years of environmental education and awareness we are still at this level.”
Over 200kgs of mixed waste was collected in one and a half hours
A representative from SNPA said that it was sad to collect that amount of waste inside a marine park, but what is even more disheartening was that the area near the gate is continuously cleaned up but people kept littering.
District residents said that people from outside the Port Glaud area frequent the place and therefore have no pride or value for it and end up trashing it. It falls to the residents who live around the marine park to clean up their mess, they said.
"Modernity has changed our lifestyles but unfortunately it has eroded our values," said a member of the LEAP project. "Going around and littering is not in our upbringing. We need to do better."
“The Seychellois who use this beautiful park must change their attitude – we should charge a fee and use the proceeds to keep the place safe and clean,” said a young Port Glaud resident.
The students and teachers said they wanted to help to keep the environment clean
The students and teachers said they wanted to help to keep the environment clean. They were surprised at what they picked up including shoes, a bedsheet, a backpack, and parts from a rice cooker. They said they would like to see more people disposing of their litter responsibly.
Some expressed their desire to work as rangers to protect nature. It was an opportune moment to talk to the children about the impact of marine litter on wildlife.