Since time immemorial, Chennai’s coast has proved to be an important aspect of the city. Playing several roles such from a busy harbour, to a site of leisure and fun, life without a beach in Chennai is quite difficult to imagine! The coast is bound by the Bay of Bengal, making it an important marine ecosystem. A large variety of flora and fauna can be found along the coast of Chennai that is said to have existed for thousands of years.
Over the last few decades, however, this ecosystem has been rapidly declining due to an uncontrolled amount of anthropogenic (environmental change caused or influenced by people, either directly or indirectly) activities along the coast. The coast that was once famous for the nesting of Olive Ridley Sea Turtles had become a site for food stalls and social activities, increasing the usage and dumping of plastic and other waste in our beach.
Every year, between January and May, thousands of Olive Ridley Sea Turtles can be spotted on Chennai’s beaches as they make their way to lay their eggs on the very beach where they were born in! That’s what makes this coastline so beautiful. In an effort to conserve and protect this fragile ecosystem, E.F.I hosted voluntary beach cleanups over the weekends to spread awareness and clean our beaches. Take a look at the cleanups conducted so far!
The Mega Beach Clean up of January 2022
The heavy rains from the North-East Monsoons of 2021 filled up the lakes and ponds in Chennai. Somewhere else, things were not the same. Our beaches. Tonnes of waste from the city got spewed into the sea. On a fine winter Sunday morning, with a cool gush of air that had blown past us, with gloves tightened, and with sack bags in hands, our volunteers were ready to pick up non-biodegradable waste from Chennai’s fragile coast. Our day started with the collection of trash from 10 different locations in South Chennai. Locations are given below:
- Broken bridge to Olcott Kuppam stretch
- Ashtalakshmi beach
- Arupadai veedu beach
- 4th Seaward road, Thiruvanmiyur
- Palavakkam beach
- Neelankarai beach
- Olive beach (Injambakkam)
- Injambakkam beach
Beach clean up summary:
|S. no||Location||No of Volunteers||No of sack bags collected||Total amount of Garbage|
|3||Arupadai veedu beach||40||20||240|
|4||4th Seaward beach||70||60||720|
|912 volunteers||540 sack bags||6468 kgs of garbage|
Over 250 volunteers united to stand against pollution on Sundays and emerged victorious at 3 beaches, the Ashtalakshmi Temple beach, 4th Seaward Beach and the Neelankarai Beach. Close to 2.2 tonnes of plastic and other waste were removed from these beach stretches!
The Oh-So-Blue March
The ‘Water’ month as we like to call it never ceases to amaze us. Over 6 massive cleanups were conducted along the coast, hosting over 623 volunteers as the heat began to seer on. But the summer heat didn’t stop our beach warriors! Close 6.5 tonnes of waste were removed from our beaches during this month!
April and the upcoming months
We’ve so far been able to conduct activities every weekend and will be continuing to do so in the upcoming months! We invite you to join us in this effort to clean for olive green and the blue.
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Volunteer for India and her Environment with E.F.I