Environment Minister Mark H Durkan (pictured) is calling for volunteers to clean up the foreshore at Culmore Point, as part of the Marine Conservation Society’s (MCS) Great Northern Irish Beach Clean.
Mr. Durkan, who will join volunteers in the cleanup, said it was a good opportunity for people to show their appreciation for the coastline by helping to clean it up.
“Unfortunately marine litter is widespread. It is unsightly when it is dropped or washed up on our shores. Our coastline is a great asset for locals and visitors to enjoy,” he said.
“This is tarnished by rubbish strewn on our beaches. I commend the many volunteers who participate each year in MCS’s annual beach clean. I call on people young and old to join me in volunteering to clean up our local coast line.”
Mr. Durkan went on to say that everyone has a responsibility to make sure the North’s coastline remains a healthy habitat for marine wildlife.
“Marine litter is also very harmful to our marine life. Many marine animals including turtles and whales die slow and painful deaths after eating plastic bags which they mistake for food. The problem can be addressed, but only by tackling it at source and ensuring that waste is not washed down our rivers or thrown overboard into our seas.
“We in DOE are playing our part by introducing the levy on carrier bags. That has significantly helped to reduce the number of bags in circulation.
“We continue to organise beach summits, bringing together the people and agencies responsible for keeping our coastlines clean. But government can only do so much. I call on everyone to be vigilant and think of the damage they can cause by thoughtlessly dropping litter and discarding bags and packaging into our rivers and seas,” added Minister Durkan.
To register for the event go to: http://www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch/events