Asylum seekers, students and swimmers volunteer for clean coasts week

An Taisce project backed by surfer Easkey Britton

Asylum seekers in Balseskin, Dublin, school students in Cork and sea swimmers in Co Donegal are among groups that have registered for An Taisce's coastal clean-ups during clean coasts week.

More than 100 beaches are expected to be cleaned by thousands of volunteers during the week-long initiative which starts on Friday, according to An Taisce’s clean coasts manager Annabel FitzGerald.

“Every piece of litter removed, whether as part of a large beach clean or a two-minute beach clean, is one less item that will pollute our oceans or be ingested by marine life,” Ms FitzGerald said.

She appealed for more volunteers to become involved2015 May 8-17 .

The initiative last year removed some 500,000 individual items of marine litter from beaches, some of it having been carried out to sea from land, rivers, drainage, sewerage systems and wind.

A recent United Nation Environment Programme report estimated that 8 million litter items entered the marine environment every day, Ms FitzGerald added.

As part of the programme, there will be screenings in Dublin and around the coast of Into the Sea, a documentary about the first surfers in Iran who were influenced by Donegal professional surfer Easkey Britton, Iranian professional snowboarder Mona Seraji and Iranian diver Shalha Yasini.

Co-founder of the non-profit organisation Waves of Freedom, Britton is also An Taisce’s clean coasts ambassador. More information on

Lorna Siggins

Lorna Siggins

Lorna Siggins is the former western and marine correspondent of The Irish Times