04 Apr 2019
The Big Donegal Clean Up and National Spring Clean was off to a strong start on Árainn Mhór with locals joining forces with American students, taking part in Irish Gap Year’s program, to carry out beach cleans at over 5 locations on the island in one day on Monday, 1st April.
The day was a huge success with a large volume of litter removed from this wild and untamed island including larger items such as barrels and tyres as well as many smaller items such as string, plastic bottles and many other plastics during this full day operation.
Peter O’Donnell, part of the Árainn Mhór Clean Coasts Group and shortlisted Ocean Hero, was instrumental in organizing the event which saw the RNLI, Scoil Athphoirt, Irish Gap Year, Clean Coasts and many other members of the public work together to remove marine litter before it was washed back out to sea and potentially never seen on land again. This work also received important support from Donegal County Council and the Arranmore Red Ferry Service.
‘It was a phenomenal day on Árainn Mhór tackling ocean plastics and other marine debris,’ says Beckey-Finn Britton, Clean Coasts Officer for Donegal and Leitrim, ‘it was really fantastic to see everyone came together with such an important common goal that will not only help protect this beautiful island but makes a very important and meaningful impact in protecting our oceans. It was a great example of how powerful a change individuals can make when they work together as well as a reminder to us all that we are all responsible with helping to change the tide on the problem plastics present in the natural environment.’
The work to become one of the leaders in tackling the issue of plastics and marine litter continues on the island with Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada, another registered Clean Coasts group, who will also take part in the beach cleaning activities after lifting a large tangle of rope and netting from the coast last year to inspire their Junk Kouture project.