The Power of Beachwatch (South-East) for Biodiversity, UK

Pollution is one of the five main drivers of the biodiversity crisis, threatening 37% of marine mammals with extinction. Wildlife, from whales and dolphins to bird species and fish, regularly ingest plastic waste, causing malnutrition and starvation, and bringing plastic into the human food chain.  Beachwatch is The Marine Conservation Society’s nationwide coastal clean-up initiative, empowering communities all over the UK to become citizen scientists by cleaning and surveying beach litter, all year-round. This project supports Beachwatch in the south-east of England, training locals to become beach clean and survey organisers or participants on a year-round basis, through digital resources such as webinars and training on beach cleaning methodology, event organising and the circular economy. Beach cleaning kit will enable volunteers to organise the delivery of 350 successful beach cleans, involving 5,250 volunteers covering 140km during 2024-25. Volunteers will add their beach litter data to the society’s 30 year old national dataset, underpinning its pollution policy and campaign work.