This March thousands of outdoor enthusiasts joined European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA), and its members, to participate in its annual spring public vote. As a result of the public vote and also the members private vote, six new conservation projects have been selected for EOCA to support. With almost €150,000 being pledged to these six projects, this also marks a new milestone in the history of EOCA – the funding of €3 million in vital conservation projects around the world!
During this spring vote, 43,637 votes were cast resulting in the selection of three new conservation projects for EOCA, and its members to support. In addition, EOCA’s members voted to select a further three projects. For this funding round only, all six of these projects will tackle EOCA’s ambitious new focus targeting plastic pollution – to collectively clear 3000km of habitat, trail and beach of plastic waste and pollution over the next two years. That is the distance from the Mediterranean coast to Lapland! EOCA is making a great start to this target by supporting almost 1000km through these six projects.
As well as addressing current plastic issues and their threat to a habitat, landscape or species, each of these six projects will also have a link to outdoor enthusiasts, work with and benefit local communities, involve an educational element, and leave a legacy. All funds are raised by membership fees and fundraising monies coming from the European Outdoor Industry. EOCA holds two funding rounds per year, with the second round taking place in autumn.
Last month EOCA also launched its new public fundraiser to help EOCA, and its members reach this two year focus of clearing 3000km. The project, part of Surfrider Foundation Europe’s ‘Ocean Initiatives’ programme will work to raise awareness and educate thousands of people through waste collection and clean-up events. EOCA is calling on individuals and companies to donate via their website to fund this ambitious project. Every €10 donated via EOCA will help fund an area of 50 metres squared – the area of two olympic sized swimming pools! – of clean-ups. Please see the donate button on www.outdoorconservation.eu or www.eoca.de . There is also the option to go onto www.oceaninitiatives.org to find a clean up event to get involved in.
Cat Barker, Conservation Project Coordinator said “We are very proud to have reached a new milestone in funding €3 million in conservation projects following another successful funding round. We are yet again amazed by the number people getting involved in the voting process and it is fantastic to see the public involvement, as well as the time and dedication projects put into it. These six projects will focus on one of the biggest topics in current conservation issues, plastic pollution. The projects, and EOCA’s public fundraiser project will make great inroads toward achieving EOCA’s ambitious new target to clear 3000km of plastic waste and pollution over the next two years. And, of course, all of this is only possible with the continued funding and support given by EOCA’s membership.”