Over the last few weeks, the island has been battered by storms and high tides that washed up large amounts of rubbish, debris, and fishing nets on Manx Beaches.
To combat this, a joint event between Beach Buddies and PlasticBusters organised by founders Bill Dale and Jaime Amoedo on February 21 saw over 100 volunteers showing up to support the beach clean, the event was a resounding success.
Bill Dale, founder of Beach Buddies said: ‘This was a great success and a record-breaking event, with 117 people joining in on Douglas beach, boosted by the team from PlasticBusters and guided by the Eyesea App, we collected 520kgs of rubbish in about 90 minutes.’
Jaime Amoedo, founder of PlasticBusters agreed, and praised all those involved in the clean up, saying: ‘I would like to thank all of the volunteers from both groups that came together to clean Douglas Beach on Sunday, which was an extraordinary example of collaboration to support the preservation of our beautiful Island’s biosphere.’
Both groups have been supporting Eyesea, a new pollution mapping platform developed by the shipping industry, which is used to photograph, tag and map pollution, both at sea and onshore.
Jaime Amoedo added: ‘It was great to be able to test the Eyesea App for the first time, and it gave our group of volunteers in the Isle of Man the opportunity of having quality information, in advance, about the specific location of waste that had been washed up on Douglas Beach. This allowed us to focus our efforts in those areas that needed most attention. We will definitely recommend the use of the app to our volunteers globally when it is launched!’
The Eyesea App was used to collect data prior to the cleanup, highlighting areas where concentrations of debris had washed up. This was used to pinpoint areas of focus for the groups to send volunteers to, saving time, and maximizing effort.
Cath Robertshaw, Eyesea’s COO and island resident said: ‘Preserving our beautiful Isle of Man UNESCO Biosphere takes hard work and effort. Bill Dale of the internationally acclaimed Beach Buddies and Jaime Amoedo of PlasticBusters are a positive driving force in our community to get cleanups done, and it was fantastic for Eyesea to play a small role in helping to streamline efforts and maximize success.’
Graeme Somerville-Ryan, founder of Eyesea added: ‘We are often asked ‘what are you going to do with the data you collect and how is it going to be used?’ This is a great answer to those questions.
‘We believe there is a major role for Eyesea in helping communities efficiently and effectively care for their coastal environment, and we can provide key support to community and government clean-up initiatives. It was great to see a proof of concept test work so successfully! We are grateful to Bill and Jaime for letting us be involved in their great work.’
A fantastically successful event, Beach Buddies and PlasticBusters would like to thank everyone who came down to help and support, and look forward to organizing more clean up events across the island.