This cleanup initiative in Lazy Bay, organized by Żibel, featured a collaborative effort between scuba divers, freedivers, and land volunteers, ensuring the efficient removal and segregation of collected waste. Remarkably, this marked the first cleanup in three years, and it is notable that a comparatively smaller amount of waste was retrieved during the cleanup event held last Saturday, August 5th.
The organization of the cleanup was meticulously planned to accommodate all volunteers. A preliminary diving survey was conducted to assess the seabed conditions prior to the official cleanup day. This pre-planning facilitated smoother diving operations and provided divers with clear guidance on navigation. To ensure the safety of divers and to alert passing boats, marker buoys were strategically positioned, indicating the presence of divers below and delineating the site’s boundaries.
The Żibel boat maintained continuous supervision from the water’s surface, not only monitoring divers but also assisting in the collection of their filled waste bags, subsequently transporting the bags back to shore. In the event of a diving emergency, the boat remained on standby, equipped with an oxygen kit to swiftly address any accidents. Additionally, larger objects retrieved by divers and brought to the surface were promptly retrieved by the boat and transported back to shore for proper sorting.
Volunteers engaged in the waste sorting process deposited the contents of the bags in the designated sorting area. Each item was meticulously separated based on its composition. In total, the cleanup efforts in Lazy Bay yielded 508 kilograms of waste from the sea. Among this total, 55 kilograms consisted of plastic waste, while 198 kilograms were comprised of metal materials. The remaining portion encompassed a mixture of textiles, ropes, glass, and rubber. On the other hand, any fishing nets found were also collected while living animals stuck in the nets were released.
Żibel is collaborating with SMARTPOL, a European Union project aimed at monitoring pollution and addressing issues in environmental legislation. The persisting illegal waste discharge poses a threat to marine and coastal ecosystems. SMARTPOL combats these illicit activities by introducing innovative technology to enhance monitoring quality through the integration of various sensors, autonomous vehicles, smart communication systems, and pollution detection algorithms.
The diverse experts involved in the SMARTPOL project employ effective techniques while sharing data to raise awareness. The primary objective is to bolster maritime technologies within the European Research Area (ERA), aligning with the Blue Growth strategy for a sustainable future in marine sectors.
The substantial turnout of volunteers contributed to a highly successful cleanup, all with the common goal of ensuring cleaner seas and beaches for the future. As we reflect on the successful cleanup and the positive impact it has on our seas and beaches, it serves as a reminder of the importance of continued collective action to safeguard our precious coastal ecosystems for generations to come.
Check out the photo gallery from the clean-up operation in Lazy Bay:
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