May 2019

Hi everyone, summer’s on the way and now’s a time to enjoy the better weather. But before we go any further, a huge thank you goes to all the wonderful volunteers who have been able to give their time and energy for the clean ups and recording. The Marine Conservation Society, Surfers Against Sewage and FIDRA (nurdle hunt) have benefitted from the recording of beach litter, plastic bottle sizes, brand polluters, nurdles and biobeads to help their campaigns to lobby the government for appropriate changes in our waste pollution problem. The clean ups also give the river and coastal habitats a great spring clean for wildlife and us humans. And they are also great fun and hugely satisfying when the rubbish has been removed!

But don’t worry if you’re not able to get out to these clean up and recording events (there will always be more, unfortunately), a very important part of the growing global movement in reducing waste and pollution is spreading the word. So please do forward this newsletter to any who you think may benefit. And we don’t all have to live by the sea or river to be able to support this change, as our purchasing power can help change manufacturer’s changes in improving sourcing, packaging, material use etc.

Surfers Against Sewage Brand Audits at Winchelsea Beach and River Rother

These events were part of the national Big Spring Beach Clean, Summit to Sea organised by Surfers Against Sewage.
Strandliners CIC arranged with help from Rother District Council, Rye Golf Club and the Rye Harbour Master, and of course many wonderful volunteers, to clean from Monk Bretton Bridge (New Road) to the Rye Golf Club (in two goes!) and at Winchelsea Beach.

A whopping 311kg of rubbish has been removed. And as you can see from the images, cleaning river banks is not as glamorous as the beach!

We included the brand audit to find out what brands are the worst packaging polluters which could be compared to the last brand audit in 2014. 

Here’s the national report from the SAS. And the results locally show these below are the highest polluting brands,
1 – Coca Cola
2 – Walkers
3 – Cadbury
4 – Heritage
5 – Red Bull
6 – Lucozade
7 – Coop

Marine Debris MOOC

This MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) has been developed by the UN Environment Programme and Open University of Netherlands and it’s free and requires around 4 hours a week to complete. The first two weeks focus on Leadership in understanding the marine litter problem and the next 6 weeks focus on an Expert level. It visits many projects, has experts on video, looks at the legal issues and helps develop ideas. Anyone can join up to see how it goes and investigate the marine debris world without getting too involved in the early stages. And even though it started at the beginning of May there is plenty of time to sign up, this questionnaire is the first step (which can be thought provoking too!).
And here is the course.
It started on April 29th but anyone can join in the next two weeks. 

Shoresearch with SWT at Bexhill, Eastbourne and Pett Level

Friday 31st May, 14:30 Bexhill

Monday 3rd June, 15:00 The Pound, Eastbourne

Monday 8th July, 09:00 Pett Level

These are free and have been running for a number of years, organised by Sussex Wildlife Trust. Both events are open to all knowledge levels, but participants should be aware that Shoresearch is a data collection exercise to collect data on species and habitats, rather than a guided rock-pooling session.
If interested please email to book a place. 
And visit here for further information.

Call to action for everyone walking river paths in the River Rother catchment, tributaries and watercourses. Your help is needed. If you come across any pollution: 1. Take a photo of the rubbish with some background. 2. Make a note of where it is. 3. Send photo and brief report to Strandliners with the title River Rother Rubbish report. Much of the pollution in the sea and on beaches comes from inland sources (between 75% and 80%), so finding the sources of the rubbish is the first step to stopping the rubbish get into the environment.

Future Events
Rye Bay Beachcombing (led by Strandliners CIC)

The Fairlight Berm – This site will be cleaned and surveyed later this year when the area should be safer to access. Stay tuned for further developments! Due to access there may only be a 1 or 2 week notice, but it should be on a weekend.

Dungeness, Lydd Ranges – Marine Conservation Society survey – The date will be short notice due to the MOD timetable. It will involve a 30 minute each way walk on shingle from the car park and back, and approx a 2 hour litter survey. If interested please email as this event will not be advertised due to the nature of the environment and has 16 participants as a maximum. A list of everyone interested will be kept and when the date is known an email will be sent. Thank you to those who have already replied.

Please email if you may be able to help out at any of these events. Anyone can take part and aid the data collection, and clean the beach for humans and animals for today and tomorrow.