Berhampur: Pollutant load at Gopalpur tourist beach and Kantiagada beach in Ganjam district is high. It was revealed during a beach cleanup programme when the Department of Marine Sciences, Berhampur University and Tata Steel Foundation’s (TSF) Gopalpur unit observed the International Coastal Cleanup Day 2023 at Gopalpur Beach and Bhateswar Sea Beach, Kantiagada on Saturday.
Among the debris collected, the top five items were polythene cover, plastic caps, plastic water bottle, plastic straw and food wrappers. Also liquor bottles, rubber footwears and damaged fishing nets were retrieved.
The event of TSF Gopalpur saw participation of around 500 volunteers, including schoolchildren and representatives from partner organisations. The campaign aimed to raise awareness about critical issue of marine pollution and the urgent need to protect coastal ecosystems.
Partnering with the district administration, Indian Coast Guard Station, Gopalpur, Indian Army, Forest Department, National Cadet Corps and Notified Area Council, Gopalpur, TSF invited school students from the locality to participate in this noble cause. The event was organised under the theme “Sea the Change” and served as a platform to foster a sense of responsibility within the communities.
Commandant of the Army Air Defence College in Gopalpur, Lt Gen U V Talur, highlighted the growing pollution affecting various beaches worldwide. He commended TSF’s efforts in raising awareness about cleaning and preserving these beautiful beaches. Pratip Modak, Commandant of the Indian Coast Guard, also attended the event. The second year students of Department of Marine Sciences, Berhampur University, led by Associate Professor Dr T Acharya and Dr Shaktidhar Nahak, research scholar Manoj Kumar Das and Geetanjali Bhoi interacted with the locals concerning beach and ocean pollution and its prevention. They conducted a beach cleaning drive on Gopalpur beach. The events emphasised the need for environmental conservation and urged everyone to work towards a cleaner and healthier planet for future generations.
An awareness was created on the tourists who are responsible for almost 97 per cent of the total debris found on the beach. Fishing activities contribute to 3 per cent of the debris and hence fishermen were also part of the campaign.
(This story has not been checked by JK Mega and is auto-generated from other sources)