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Kilroot Beach Clean II: ‘The Revenge

Nicola Fitzsimons   Wed 24 Feb 2016

On Thursday 18th February the Live Here Love Here team joined forces with Ulster Wildlife to take a second attempt to clean up the beach at Kilroot Power Station. Thanks to Katy Bell, Ulster Wildlife - AES Biodiversity Intern for organising the great event and for putting together this article:

After clearing 52 bags of rubbish from the shoreline beside Kilroot Power Station last November I knew we could go back and get more.

With the help of Ulster Wildlife’s Living Seas Team, AES Staff, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful; we made up a team of 16 eager people willing to battle the rubbish before the tide came in.

Marine litter doesn’t only look bad but it can also be devastating to wildlife.

Dave Wall, Living Seas Officer with Ulster Wildlife said, "Marine Litter, particularly plastic waste is present in large quantities throughout the marine environment. It has direct conservation impacts such as choking marine mammals, marine reptiles and seabirds who mistake it for food. Marine plastics also have potentially far more sinister impacts as they break down into micro-plastics which are ingested by plankton and small fish and work their way up through every link in the marine food chain. The long-term effects of these micro plastics is as yet unknown but they are known to bind with toxins and pollutants which are also carried into the marine food chain with potential impacts on animal reproduction, body health and survival. Marine plastics are not biodegradable and will last for centuries in the oceans, so every single beach clean will help save wildlife for years to come.”

Maurice Turley, Biodiversity Officer for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, provided us with litter pickers, bags and gloves and arranged for the bagged litter to be collected. Everyone quickly got stuck in and it felt like this time we could see our work paying off.

We were on the beach for about two hours and a huge pile of bags was forming. We transported all the rubbish to the front gate where Mid and East Antrim Borough Council workers loaded it onto a truck for safe disposal. We counted 64 bags in total, along with 3 gas canisters, 2 tyres and an office chair!

It is amazing to think that those 116 bags of rubbish would still be on that beach without everyone’s hard work. We will back in April for Kilroot Beach Clean III!

Remember that everything you discard has to end up somewhere. It is our duty as a society to reduce the amount of waste we produce, reuse whatever we can, and recycle as much of our waste as possible. The rest of our waste needs to be disposed of safely, where it will not end up blowing off the land or washing down river into the seas.

Thanks to Dave, Tori, James, Orlagh, Maurice, George, Alex, Neil, Maureen, Pearl, Maurice, Nicola, Peter, Rachel and Nicholas for coming out to help, and to the staff of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council for collecting our efforts for disposal.

visit www.ulsterwildlife.org to learn more about what Ulster Wildlife do.