Compiled By Jordyn Johnson, Summer 2016
This summer, students from Sant’Anna met with one of the leaders of the Protected Marine Area, Domenico Sgambati, for a litter pick up at Tordigliano beach.
Students left early in the morning from Sorrento towards Positano and disembarked on the cliff above Tordigliano, where they met Domenico. He spoke about the importance of the project and his organization’s part in the health of the local area.
“Billions of pounds of plastic can be found in our ocean which covers about 40% of the ocean surface. 80% of the pollution enters the ocean from the land.” (Internet Source)
Students enjoyed a hike along a scenic route down to the beach where the clean up began, covering three different parts of Tordigliano beach. All work and no play can make for a dull day, so time was made for lunch, swimming and sunbathing too.
“The ocean is earth’s most precious resource. It is really important to make sure that people are educated enough to know not to throw trash on the ground because it eventually gets into the water. Being able to clean some of the beaches in Italy was definitely one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had here so far. I feel this coastline is too beautiful to be polluted with trash.” -Jena Lo Duca, Sant’Anna student and beach-cleanup volunteer.
As the sun began to make its descent, the Sant’Anna group hopped into a boat to Positano beach and were served a delicious homemade Italian meal courtesy of the marine organization. Stomachs full, but lighter in the knowledge that they had helped the environment that day, the students returned to Sorrento.
Results as reported by Domenico:
“We took trash that bathers leave on the beach or on the path down as well as scraps from fisherman and from those who live on the site. It’s a very important job. It’s good for us to be present for a day to help take away some of the trash and scraps… We took away 2 boats of trash, equal to a few hundred kilograms, including around 30 bags plus some bulky material.”
“Picking up trash on the beach is a very humbling and selfless task and I think it can benefit the person just as much as it benefits the environment if you know how to take advantage of it.” -Josh Lines, Marketing intern for Sant’Anna.
Beach clean up efforts begin during the spring semester, a popular time of the year as the beaches open for the season in late-March and these projects continue throughout the summer.
“In the past 25 years, over 144,606,491 pounds of trash has been collected from beaches world-wide from Alaska to New Zealand.” (Internet Source)
However, marine litter still reaches our oceans. Animals mistake it for food and may lead to death. It’s a devastating fact and if we don’t take action, trash will continue pollute our beautiful waters. The ocean sustains us with the basic elements of life: it produces half of the oxygen in the air we breathe, and it is an essential part of the water cycle, helping to provide the water we drink.
By taking part in these beach clean-ups, Sant’Anna students set a great example of how to have a great time and give back to our world by reducing marine debris in the seas.