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Churches urged to set aside day for beach clean-up

Posted on: October 13, 2017 10:00 AM
Young Christians from churches in the diocese of Saldanha Bay in South Africa with some of the rubbish collected from Milnerton beach as part of this year’s International Coastal Clean-up Day in September.
Photo Credit: Green Anglicans

Anglicans and other Christians throughout the world are being encouraged to take part in a coordinated beach-clean-up project in September 2018. The third Saturday in September is recognised by the conservation community as International Coastal Clean-up Day. The Environmental Network of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa is joining forces with the Christian environment network A Rocha International and other partners to encourage Christians around the world to take part in next year’s Coastal Clean-up Day, on Saturday 15 September 2018.

And inland churches have been invited to consider taking part in river clean-ups on the day, on the basis that “all rivers lead to the sea.”

“There does not appear to be a beach in the world that does not have any plastic pollution,” the Revd Dr Rachel Mash, the Church of Southern Africa’s environmental co-ordinator, said. “Each day there is another report on the increase in plastic pollution in the ocean and also warnings about the rise of plastic in our food chain. How are churches responding?”

Last month, young Christians from the Diocese of Saldanha Bay in South Africa joined the Coastal Clean-up at Milnerton beach – a popular surfing spot which is well known for its view of Table Mountain. Young Anglicans from a number of local churches took part in the event, joining other Christians from a variety of church backgrounds.

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Young Christians from churches in the diocese of Saldanha Bay in South Africa take part in this year’s International Coastal Clean-up Day in Milnerton beach.
Photo: Green Anglicans

The International Coastal Clean-up Day is sponsored by Ocean Conservancy, which has produced a website with information and resources to help people organise a Coastal Clean-up in their area. It also provides information on plastic pollution and an app that can be used to report the amount and type of pollution collected. The data collected will help scientists to gain a better understand global patterns.

The leading Christian environmental charity A Rocha International has produced a guide, available in English and Spanish, to help churches take part in next year’s International Coastal Clean-up day. “We are encouraging churches to find a beach clean-up near them using the International Coastal Clean-up website and join their neighbours in this God-honouring and community-serving activity,” Dr Mash said.