Sailors for the Sea Portugal - Sailors for the Sea

Sailors for the Sea Portugal

 October 13, 2015  | By: Oceana

Sometimes we get the amazing opportunity to work internationally. This often is in the form of consulting via Skype, but every now and then it makes more sense to meet in person to share strategies and learn how another culture views and takes care of its ocean. Last month, our Sustainability Director, Tyson Bottenus was lucky enough to spend some time out of the office and visit our affiliate in Cascais, Portugal!

Sailors for the Sea Portugal organized a cleanup operation in conjunction with the Ocean Conservancy’s 30th Annual International Coastal Cleanup (ICC). Established in 1986, the ICC has engaged over 10.5 million volunteers from 192 countries in its history removing more than 192 million pounds of trash from 350,000 miles of coastline around the world. One part cleanup, one part data, the ICC is also extremely useful as a means of collecting information about what kinds of debris we’re finding on our coastlines.

Sailors for the Sea Portugal worked together with the Cascais Ministry of the Environment to pick an ideal location where a cleanup would be most effective. The location they decided upon was a rocky set of cliffs just to the west of the marina where fishermen typically tend to congregate. However to say that all the debris we found was from fishermen would be an oversimplification as there were plenty of tourists and local residents using the area as well.

“The pile of trash we collected was immense,” said Bernardo Correa De Barros, President of Sailors for the Sea Portugal. “But what I saw was the involvement of 38 people working together with us to help pick up some of it.”

That weekend also coincided with the TP52 Super Series tour, which was finishing up their circuit in Cascais. The Clube Naval de Cascais, which hosted the regatta, has been working with Sailors for the Sea Portugal to start implementing the Clean Regatta Best Practices for all of their regattas. On top of earning Silver Level Clean Regattas certification, some of the sailors and race organizers lent a hand in the beach cleanup!

“Seeing the kids with their families to make the world a little bit better, working alongside the sailors from the TP52 Super Series, was fantastic,” said Isaac Silveira, Vice President of Sailors for the Sea. “It’s really important in Portugal that we measure what kind of garbage we’re starting to see on our coastlines.”