August 2020

Events are back! Virtual exhibition and rubbish video

This month may see the first tentative steps of Strandliners beach surveys returning to the Rye Bay. This will all depend on the guidelines at the time, but we anticipate starting with the long-awaited Fairlight Berm project. A massive amount of plastic pollution has accumulated behind the granite berms over the years. Designed to trap sand and material on their landward side to protect the cliff, they have effectively corralled a build-up of plastic and marine debris as well. It says something loud and clear about the escalation of rubbish in our coastal waters. 

Safety. The Fairlight Cove location is difficult to reach and potentially hazardous – possibility of falling cliffs, incoming tide, slippery rocks, etc – so we have carefully coordinated this project in partnership with the wonderful and knowledgeable crew of the Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat.

We aim to run small groups of six (in compliance with current guidelines) at each event so if demand is high, spaces will be limited to one survey each. We hope to clear most of the accumulated plastic pollution and, importantly, record the amount of polystyrene, plastic bottles and lids.

Other Surveys and Clean-ups
We will advertise Pett Level, Winchelsea Beach and Dungeness dates in the September newsletter. Please note that these events will not be in the public domain, but are reserved for Strandliners only. 

Solo Recording apps. Our review of solo pollution recording apps is still underway – feedback so far suggests some are quite difficult to get to grips with but it’s certainly worth persevering with as data added to the bigger picture by individuals will ultimately prove effective in achieving change.

Fairlight Berm & September survey dates

At last we have some dates to get out and carry on. Because of COVID 19 restrictions we will run small groups but have more sessions than usual. As spaces may be at a premium, if anyone is interested in any of the events below, please email prioritising which events you would wish to join. It may be that some dates will be over subscribed but please bear with us so that everyone can join in.
Friday 28th August 11 – 2pm
Saturday 29th August 4 – 7pm 
Wednesday 2nd September 3.30 – 6.30pm
Thursday 3rd September 4 – 7pm
Friday 4th September 4.30 – 7pm
Saturday 5th September 5 – 7pm to check all is ok for Sunday pick up
Sunday 6th September 12noon – 4pm to help the PLIRB crew load/unload

Call to Arms – Your help needed!

Update to solo recording apps. We are getting there – we have trialled the OpenLitterMap and now are trialling the Marine Debris Tracker.

Is there anyone else who has used any solo pollution recording app? 

If you have used any of these apps please email with your thoughts. Thank you to those who have already sent their reviews in, your contributions are really helpful.

Mandy Barker “Our Plastic Ocean”

Part of Ocean Blues at the Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove. The image above is “PENALTY” BY MANDY BARKER. Footballs from around the world including the Rye Bay and Sussex coast have been collected by members of Strandliners and sent to Mandy for her work, some can be seen in her photographs. Her visual portraying of marine debris is beautiful yet frightening.

Bottles, lids and the lockdown:
Using beach litter to monitor marine plastic pollution

Peter Ryan (University of Cape Town, South Africa) 
Youtube video, 1 hr describing his work with ocean plastic in the Southern hemisphere, southern Pacific, southern Atlantic and Africa during lockdown from his beginnings in the 1980’s.
(Image – bottle tops by Dr.Peter Ryan).

Other Media & Film links

Other Media & Film links;
The Story of Plastic – 2019 film
The Secret Life of Landfill: A Rubbish History – BBC programme
War on Plastic with Hugh and Anita – BBC series
The History of Wastefulness – World Service radio series


Beach cleans & Beach surveys
Both surveys and cleans require participants to pick up and clear rubbish from the beach.
Both enable fresh ionised air to be breathed in (we can talk about those micro plastic particles in the air another time!) whilst socialising in the dynamic environment where land meets sea.
Both will leave part of a beach safe for wildlife and humans for a time.
Both will leave all who participate feeling better that they been able to achieve something for the planet, to put right a few of the many many wrongs us humans have done.

But whereas beach cleans are “Pick, Bag, Bin”, Beach surveys include “identify and record” so that the predominantly plastic pollution is identified (as much as possible).
Identification and recoding can lead to a much greater impact in reducing the plastic waste crisis. 
Surveys can help ‘turn off the tap’ by adding to the world-wide data set which can then be used to lobby for effective change. 
Beach cleans, although worthwhile in the short-term, depend on concerned people perpetually cleaning up greater and greater amounts of rubbish potentially for ever. Unless there is regulation and legislation, oil, gas and plastic producing companies aim to double their output of plastic in the next 15 years. 

Watch out for exciting news about Strandliners membership, more details soon.