More than 300 Capetonians participated in an ocean-awareness event at the weekend to encourage reduced waste and ocean conservation.
Local businesses and the Save Our Seas Foundation Shark Education Centre hosted a 15km fun run, which was held to mark a mural unveiling, and a beach clean-up at Dalebrook tidal pool in Kalk Bay.
Professor Peter Ryan, an adviser to the Beach Co-op, a non-profit organisation raising awareness of ocean pollution, says over 400 coffee cup lids have been found in the last 23 clean-ups in the Dalebrook tidal pool area alone, not to mention all the other plastic and waste that finds its way into the sea all along the coastline.
In an effort to combat this, Dalebrook Café’s owner, Charmaine Lilje, has said they will immediately decrease their plastic packaging.
“We are working on tools to effectively implement this and communicate this to our customers and suppliers,” she said. “We cannot afford to produce and consume as we have done in the past. It is at the cost of the planet.”
Fun-run participant Cyndi Mendozi said: “I am a better person because of the ocean, and this event allowed me to take some immediate action to help. A thoughtful, fun and purpose-driven event.”
The shark centre, which is across the road from the tidal pool, has sponsored a mural there, painted by Claire of CareCreative, to show the diversity of False Bay’s sharks and marine life.
“Using art and sport to raise awareness about the importance of healthy oceans is a fantastic initiative,“ said the centre’s director Clova Mabin.
The mural would “enhance the visitors’ experience of the area, and help to educate the public”, she said.
The Beach Co-op has warned that our marine life is under severe threat from the careless way we produce and consume waste. All proceeds from the event will go to the organisation to support regular beach clean-ups, reduced waste and an ocean-minded lifestyle.