KNYSNA NEWS - A large group of concerned Knysna citizens came together on 8 February for a collaborative cleanup around Thesen Island.
It was the first of a series of cleanups to be held throughout the year by What the Bag? and Knysna Unlittered.
These events will all be held in accordance with a certain theme throughout the year, and the first cleanup was in honour of World Wetlands Day (2 February), and saw participants snorkelling and diving around the Thesen Harbour jetties. People of all ages joined in on the action, as well as staff from the various Thesen restaurants who lent a helping hand during the morning's activities.
"It was a beautiful and inspiring morning full of learning, insightful conversation, action for the planet and like-minded people," said Sahara Thugunna, founder of What the Bag?.
"The cleanup spanned three different groups – on-shore cleanup, water cleanup, and marine life-saving."
A total of 25 bags of rubbish was collected on the day, with the on-shore group heading along the Thesen Harbour causeway and down into the marshland.
"Bottle caps, sweet wrappers, old shoes, and a car boot cover were among the items collected," Thugunna added. "Those snorkelling and diving down by the Thesen Harbour Jetties found a plethora of strange and random items."
Other than clumps of fishing line entangled on barnacles, there were several old and decaying camping chairs, an old fishing rod and a big truck tyre, hauled from the bottom of the lagoon according to Thugunna.
"The marine life-saving team untangled barnacles, crabs, sea urchins, octopi, starfish and more from the clutches of the waste collected in the estuary," Thugunna said.
The cleanup was a highly successful collaborative effort, with the Knysna Basin Project, Sanparks Honorary Rangers, Strandloper Project, and Ocean Odyssey all involved as partners.
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