ADreach Ocean Heroes athletes join beach clean-up
As Durban gears up for the sixth edition of the ADreach Ocean Heroes on Sunday, the lifesavers teamed up with the ground-breaking ADreach clean-up team to remove litter from North Beach that will play host to the morning of surf and beach events.
The six-strong team of dedicated waste removers quickly targeted the large amount of plastic, polystyrene and other waste that littered the beach above the high water mark, and for their supervisor Sephiwe Rakgabale, this is the area that needs the most urgent attention.
"The city tends to clean the bigger rubbish off the beach near the water but at the back of the beach and in the dune vegetation the litter gets blown into an island.
"The biggest issues are the PET two litre cool drink bottles, chips packets, paper packets and the worst is the polystyrene take-away boxes," said Rakgabale. "It breaks apart easily and blows away and when it breaks down in the sea the fish think it is food," he said
The six strong team was joined on North Beach by four of the athletes that will be taking part in the three events on Sunday. Defending champion Connor Botha said he wanted every Durbanite to play a part in addressing the pollution problem.
"It is really upsetting to see the amount of rubbish on the beach and in the ocean. We have people coming in from overseas for the International Surf Rescue Challenge at the end of the month and we don't want them to see our beach and oceans so dirty," he added.
Local lifesaving personality Mthembeni Mkhize was just as vociferous. "We caused this pollution and we are responsible for the harm that it causes to the marine animals," he said. "So it is up to us to change our habits and make absolutely sure that our rubbish lands up in a bin
Women's title defending champion Alice Edward said she is aware of the worsening pollution problem every day. "When I am out in the sea training and you see all the rubbish and plastic, it is not a good feeling at all. I try to load it up onto my craft when I am training but there is so much you can't take it all. "That's why we need everyone to play a part in dealing with it," she added.
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