International Coastal Clean-Up Day will be celebrated this year on September 17 with the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences gearing up for a mass cleanliness campaign along the country’s nearly 7,500 km long coastline.
Litter in the marine environment, especially in the form of plastics, is an issue of major concern worldwide, with several studies showing their harmful impact on marine biodiversity, ecosystems, fisheries, human health and the economy. Usually, wastes from land-based sources make up the significant share of marine litter.
The coastal clean-up drive will be carried out at 75 beaches across the country with 75 volunteers for every kilometre of the coastline. A 75-day citizen-led campaign will precede the programme. It has three strategic underlying goals that target transformation and environmental conservation through behavior change: consume responsibly, segregate waste at home, and dispose of waste responsibly.
In July, there will be an attempt to raise awareness about the degradation caused by plastic and the danger to ecological balance from deteriorating ocean health. In August, the campaign will create engagement, especially among the youth on innovating to solve the problem of plastic waste. In September, the focus will be on the action – bringing people to clean up the beach as a symbolic gesture to pledge against the use of plastic.
Efforts will also be undertaken to collect scientific data and information on marine litter in various matrices, such as coastal waters, sediments, biota, and beaches.
Key audiences for the campaign include local communities that rely on oceans and beaches for livelihood, school and college students, youth, and citizens in general.
The Ministry of Earth Sciences has launched a mobile app “Eco Mitram” to spread awareness about the campaign and also for the common people to register for the beach cleaning activity on September 17.
The “International Coastal Clean-Up Day” is celebrated globally on the third Saturday of September, every year. This year it falls on September 17.