Dos Manos, Spain

Save the Med Foundation envisions a clean and healthy Mediterranean Sea and works, through research, education and prevention, to recover its rich biodiversity and permit it to thrive in harmony with prospering, environmentally conscious and proactive local populations.
Turtle caught in FAD
Turtle caught in FAD

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The Project

The Balearic Islands are a popular tourist destination and a hotspot for marine biodiversity in the Mediterranean. Plastic pollution affects sperm, fin and minke whales, dolphins, bluefin tuna, loggerhead turtles and marine birds including the critically endangered Balearic Shearwater. 99% of the marine turtles beached or rescued in the Balearics are affected by plastic pollution either through ingestion or entanglement. This project consists of 4 parallel, interconnected initiatives: 1. Clean ups with tourists and volunteers 2. Involving the school community in hands on beach cleans and solutions workshops. 3. Taking students working to reduce plastic pollution on research expeditions at sea to study marine wildlife, remove marine litter and help conduct research for species conservation 4. Empowering outdoor companies to raise awareness and organise clean up activities with their clients. The project aims to clean up 527km of land and sea.

With many thanks to EOCA member Vaude, for raising additional funds for this project through their online Advent 2020 fundraiser and their Earth Day 2021 Fundraiser.

Many thanks also to EOCA member Original BUFF for a substantial donation towards the funding of this project.

Student Recovering FAD at Sea
Student Recovering FAD at Sea

The Update

Summer 2020 – due to the pandemic, the Dos Manos project has had to adapt much of what it planned to do, including being more flexible with its schools programme, offering online and independent participatory sessions as well. Beach cleans and microplastic surveys have had to introduce strict safety measures alongside reduced group sizes and frequency meaning a lot less litter has been collected and studied that originally planned, but have still managed to involve 270 participants. The Balearic Islands are preparing for a ban on the sales of some of the most common types of single-use plastics, whilst at the same time seeing a new type of single use pollution emerging as a result of the pandemic.

On a more positive note, the project has seen a record number of students sign up to their Changemakers programme, showing a growing desire to be involved and make a difference in reducing single use plastic. There is also still a lot of interest in the Ambassadors programme, group training and clean up activities, are starting to get going again over the summer months, with hopefully a lot more activity to come this autumn.

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If you are an individual who loves the great outdoors and would like to support our projects, please click the donate button below.
We are hugely grateful for the support of the European Outdoor Conservation Association, without whose support we could never have realised such an ambitious project.
Hugo Tagholm, Surfers Against Sewage