Marine officials in Cabo Verde recently announced the Padrinhos do Mar project inviting public and private institutions, associations and NGOs to sponsor beaches for much-needed clean-ups, especially of plastic waste.
Sponsors – dubbed “sea godparents” – commit to carrying out beach cleaning and conservation activities throughout the year. Each will be evaluated and recognised for their work during the Cabo Verde Ocean Week initiative, and given preferential rights when it comes to carrying out different types of activities on the beach, reports Lusa.
Interested parties can contribute to conserving Cabo Verde’s unique ecosystem by sponsoring any of the 145 bathing beaches in the archipelago. The choice of beach can be based on affinity or proximity.
A UN study found around 8 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans each year, causing the deaths of more than 100,000 marine animals. Plastic waste is so prevalent in the oceans that “for every kilogram of seaweed and plankton found in the oceans, there are at least six kilograms of plastic.”
As an archipelago of small islands, Cabo Verde is especially vulnerable to plastic waste accumulating on its shores. The waste endangers the already threatened sea turtle species that make the long journey back to Cabo Verde each year to lay their eggs, as well as birds and other wildlife in the area.
The Padrinhos do Mar project, according to officials, “emerged with the purpose of joining forces to preserve our beaches and marine ecosystems, allowing the country to mitigate the contamination of the sea with plastics.”