This month, Project AWARE joined Clean Up Bristol Harbour. An event, in the UK, run by volunteers who meet with the Harbour Masters Office each month to remove rubbish from the waterways of Bristol’s city center. From boats, paddleboards, kayaks and on foot, the group are not only cleaning up Bristol’s waters but are also stopping the Ugly Journey Of Our Trash before it reaches the ocean.
The marine debris we find in the ocean is the same rubbish these volunteers are cleaning up, it's the rubbish of our everyday lives which makes its way over land, down streams, rivers and storm drains to the ocean. Once in the ocean, it can drift thousands of miles, causing serious harm to animals, sea birds and the marine environment.
For the cleanup, the Project AWARE team were also joined by the passionate adventurers from #ChargeToTheCircle, including PADI Ambassadiver, Manu Bustelo. Travelling from the UK to the Arctic Circle, Charge to the Circle aims to promote sustainability and ocean conservation through eco-adventure. The harbour clean up marked the start of the adventure, and after leaving Bristol the team travelled in electric vehicles through the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and finally to Norway using sustainable travel and adventure to raise awareness of the impact humans have on the planet. It was an honour to be the first of many ocean conservation organizations the team met along their route.
To stop marine debris from reaching the ocean, as well as cleaning up the litter we see, we can go one step further and stop the problem at source. By reducing our plastic consumption, we are reducing the threats to our ocean. Start today by saying #NoExcuseForSingleUse, because even the smallest of changes like refusing plastic straws will have a big impact on our ocean planet. Together we can be the change the ocean needs.
Photo by Chris Davies