On June 15 and 17, the city of Vitória, Espírito Santo state, hosted a global cleaning and action campaign to combat plastic pollution in the oceans called the Global Ocean Cleanup. The event, organized by the Oceanic Society and See Turtles, was held in celebration of the Sea Turtle Week. It brought together organizations from around the world, while in Espírito Santo, it was coordinated by the Chelonia Mydas project of the Marcos Daniel Institute (IMD). The main objective was to engage the community in raising awareness about the threats faced by sea turtles due to human expansion.
The entire program was conducted in person and was free of charge, with active participation from various social actors. Over 120 individuals registered for this inspiring celebration, which spanned two days.
On Thursday (June 15th), the Iate Clube of Vitória hosted lectures and a workshop on creating mosaics using plastic bottle caps.
Figure 1. Lectures. Photos: João Zanardo
Figure 2. Mosaic workshop. Photos: João Zanardo
On Saturday (June 17th), at the Iate beach, there was a biological exhibition featuring specimens of sea turtles and other marine animals, in partnership with the Institute for Research and Rehabilitation of Marine Animals (IPRAM) and the Academic League of Wildlife Veterinary Medicine (LASELV). There was also an art exhibition showcasing the five turtle species that inhabit Brazil, created from solid waste materials, by the artist Lorrayne Candeias. The event included the famous beach cleanup, with the participation of the Escoteiros do Mar Ilha de Vitória, as well as giveaways and lots of fun..
Figure 3. Biological exhibition and environmental education. Photos: João Zanardo
Figure 4. Art exhibition created from solid waste materials. Photos: João Zanardo
Figure 5. Beach clean up and waste separation. Photos: João Zanardo
A total of 3,607 items were collected, including: 1,197 cigarette butts, 412 candy and snack wrappers, 103 popsicle sticks, 8 flip-flops, 802 plastic bags, 126 straws, 444 food packaging, 251 bottles, and 32 fishing artifacts.
The Iate Clube de Vitória was instrumental in the success of the "Tartarugada Capixaba" event. In addition to providing financial support, they hosted the first day of the event and offered full support to our team throughout the entire program. We would like to express our special thanks to them.
Figure 6. Distribution of souvenirs. Photos: João Zanardo.
It is expected that events like this will become increasingly common, and a growing number of people will have access to the information shared by researchers. After all, by getting to know and helping marine turtles, we contribute to reducing ocean pollution and ultimately help ourselves since we depend on it.