Volunteers from the group that has adopted the Mesquida collect plastic waste

Volunteers from the group that has adopted the Mesquida collect plastic waste.

03-12-2020David Arquimbau

The success of the GOB Minorca beach adoption programme shows that people are willing to take action for marine conservation.

Last October, the local environmental organisation GOB Minorca launched a call for volunteers to join a new “beach adoption” programme. Their goal: to harness the power of committed citizens no matter where from to drive positive change along the Minorca coastline. The response received has exceeded by far the most optimistic forecasts. To date, the programme has welcomed 1,500 volunteers, who have been distributed in 79 groups, adopting 90 beaches, coves or strips of the Minorca coastline.

Volunteers to protect the minorca coastline

The groups of volunteers commit to take care of a stretch of coastline, and to perform a minimum number of “actions” per year to reduce environmental impacts on the coastal habitats of Minorca. Beach clean-ups and collecting waste are the starting point for most of these groups but the ambition of the project goes well beyond this. Training on data collection methodologies has been planned in collaboration with Observadores del Mar – the leading marine citizens science programme in Spain - to contribute to a series of research projects. Groups are also informed about the protocols to follow if they come across or detect any unusual incident.

The programme is open to anyone who wants to contribute to improving the environmental state of the coastline of Minorca. Individuals, groups of friends, schools, associations, companies – everyone is welcome! A minimum of three people are required to form a group. No previous knowledge is required to take part in it. All volunteers receive an induction with basic training and guidelines.

Recolecting Waste

Everyone has a role to play in marine conservation but not everyone knows where to start. This programme helps break this barrier and adds the badly needed energy to respond to some of the biggest challenges faced by our marine and coastal environments in the Balearics. Whether it is plastic pollution, invasive species or water pollution and poaching; all of them require people’s collective effort to be solved.

Marilles has been supporting GOB Menorca since 2018 providing core funding to its Marine Conservation Programme. More than 65,000 Euro have been committed to date and we aim to continue this support over the years to come. The beach adoption programme is a very good example of a projects that brings together a mix of benefits: Not only the direct environmental improvements that we’ll see around Minorca but the change in attitudes and behaviours that volunteers and beach users will experience from direct experience on the field. The programme will also deliver huge social benefits in terms of social cohesion, and physical and mental wellbeing.

Plastic waste

The potential is huge; when people work together great things can happen. We hope to see the programme consolidate over the next year and grow in numbers and impact well beyond that. It sets a powerful model which surely will soon be replicated across other islands. For more information about GOB Minorca and the beach adoption programme please visit: www.gobmenorca.com

Marilles is a non-profit foundation working to make the Balearics a world-leading example of marine conservation. To date we have invested more than 1 million euro in local projects. As a foundation, it is our aim to make sure that all funding has maximum impact where it counts. Our core costs are covered, so by donating through Marilles, you ensure that every euro you donate goes towards the conservation of the Balearics.

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