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Saving the seven seas

Saturday 4 June 2022 | Written by Te Ipukarea Society | Published in Environment, National

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Saving the seven seas
Apii Te Uki Ou Eco-warriors collecting rubbish along the coast. TIS/22060301

Every year, World Oceans Day is celebrated on June 8 with the participation of millions of people around the globe coming together to clean their cherished coastline.

It is a day dedicated to protecting the ocean and is a reminder of the important role our oceans have to keep us alive, from keeping our planet cool, to providing us with oxygen, as well as giving us food.

At Te Ipukarea Society, advocating for the health and protection of our ocean are key areas in which we work. This is achieved through awareness raising work conducted on the impacts of ocean pollution to the potential impacts of seabed mining.

With ocean pollution being the focus of this year’s World Ocean Day event, Te Ipukarea Society will be assisting participating primary schools in the collection and recording of waste picked up along their coastline. The mini waste audit activity will identify what type of waste is most commonly found along our shores.

Additional upcoming coastal waste audit activities include documenting the types of washed up waste found on our National Park, Suwarrow. Te Ipukarea Society and Marumaru Atua with the support from the National Environment Service are set to depart for Suwarrow on June 6 to complete a rat eradication project. At the same time, the team will also aim to document what waste is being washed up on island. A record of the number of washed up drifting FADs from purse seine fishing vessels will also be conducted. The last time the team was on Suwarrow in 2018, they had recorded 50-plus washed up FADs that were found abandoned on the island, or entangled along the reef.

For those interested in taking part in a community-wide beach clean programme, next Saturday Muri Environment Care Group with the support of Te Ipukarea Society and the Muri Sailing Club will be running the annual Muri Beach clean event. In previous years community members and businesses have come together to dedicate their morning to a social clean of the popular Muri coastline, neigbouring streams and motu sites to raise awareness about World Oceans Day.

The event is to start at the Muri Sailing Club from 8.30am till 11.30am. The team from Infrastructure Cook Islands has also come on board by providing the rubbish collection service and a waste weighing scale to run a more formal learning by doing waste audit activity.

Reused flour bags, courtesy of Avarua Bakery, will be provided on the day to collect rubbish. Spot prizes and a sausage sizzle will also be on the cards, thanks to the kind sponsorship of CITC.

The social beach clean up event is open to everyone, so swing on down to Muri next Saturday morning and don’t forget to bring a hat and some drinking water.