Citizen science on Marine Litter: Combining Research and Action!
Since 2018 HZ Green Office is organizing clean-up events at the beaches and harbors in Vlissingen, in collaboration with the Municipality of Vlissingen and “Doe Mee, Verlos de Zee!”. Together with Rijkwaterstaat, also integrated monitoring is carried out of the marine litter distribution on the coasts of the Eastern and Western Scheldt. In this way, we participate in scientific research and at the same time contribute to efforts to keep our local beaches clean.
With our clean-ups we contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):6.Clean Water and Sanitation
In 2019 we monitored marine litter on five beach locations in Zeeland and tested different monitoring methods. The outcome of this research in 2019 can be read in this report: USING CITIZEN SCIENCE IN MONITORING PLASTIC DEBRIS ON BEACHES. Read the story that Janine Vink, student journalism from Utrecht University, wrote about one of these cleaning and monitoring events.
One year later, we are building upon this research; in collaboration with Delta management and Rijkswaterstaat, the 5 locations that were studied in 2019, are again monitored during the World Cleanup Day on 19 Sep 2020.
Commissioned by the municipality of Vlissingen, we are currently monitoring the litter found in De Binnenhaven. For this, cleanups and monitoring activities are organized on a bi-weekly basis. A diverse group of students from different study programmes as well as citizens are participating in these events.
You don’t need to bring anything to participate, but dress up warm enough! The clean-ups, together with other Green Office activities, are a chance to gain HZ Personality (or FCC) credits while connecting with students from other study programmes, participate in an outdoor activity, and making a step towards a clean and circular economy.
-> for HZ students all these activities can be linked to HZ Personality. Interested? Just come spontaniously or let us know upfront via Insta or by sending an email to Lorenzosomai@gmail.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This initiative is based on volunteers, so also non-student volunteers are welcome to join our efforts!
Upcoming cleanups and monitoring sessions:
Twice a week, volunteers from Doe Mee Verlos de Zee can be found cleaning the beaches.
Every Wednesday morning (starting at 10h), they can be found at the beach of Dishoek around beach pavillion Kaapduin.
Every Friday afternoon (starting around 14.00-14.30h), they can be found in Vlissingen at Nollestrand and Badstrand.
Want to join them? Just come spontaniously. It could happen that on a certain day you can't immediately find a volunteer from Doe Mee Verlos de Zee. In that case, you can just start yourself. Make sure to bring a bag to collect your waste. You can put all waste in the large metal bins from Doe Mee Verlos de Zee or in the normal bins on the beach.
During Corona, cleanups can still continue on safely. It's an outdoor activity and we keep the 1,5m safety distance.
You can also just do your own cleanup. Good locations where lots of waste can be found are rround the canal between Middelburg and Vlissingen, De Buitenhaven in Vlissingen, around HZ Middelburg in the park, and around Supermarkets. Or just select a location in your neighbourhood you like to make clean and look nice!
If you link this to HZ Personality, make some pictures as proof of your activity.
If you want to borrow a "prikker" from us, let us know via Lorenzosomai@gmail.com or email@example.com or contact your local municipality.
Doe Mee Verlos de Zee Vlissingen
HZ Green Office is part of a multi-stakeholder initiative with the aim to keep the waters in and around Vlissingen clean. Different stakeholders participate in this initiative, such as Waterschap Scheldestromen, gemeente Vlissingen, the fishery industry ("de Vismijn"), Reclassering, politie, rowing club De Honte, and Doe Mee Verlos de Zee Vlissingen.
On a monthly basis, local stakeholders have come together to discuss strategies and actions taken to minimize the waste on the beaches, de Binnenhaven, and in and around the Canal. The minutes of these meetings (in Dutch) can be found here: Verslagen multi-stakeholder overleg afval in Binnenhaven.
These meetings have resulted in a Project Plan: Project plan Concept 7 jan 2020
Convenant Schone Schelde
HZ University of Applied Sciences, Gemeente Vlissingen, and Doe Mee Verlos de Zee Vlissingen are part of the Convenant Schone Schelde, a collaborative action program initiated by Rijkswaterstaat to decrease the amount of waste in the river Scheldt. The convenant has been signed by 28 parties. The cleanup and monitoring activities that the Green Office is organising are contributing to this program.
- Project plan Schone Schelde Concept 7 jan 2020, Adriaan Luijk, Monique Jankowski, Ingrid de Vries, Schoon Vlissingen, 7 januari 2020.
- Verslagen multi-stakeholder overleg afval in Binnenhaven, Adriaan Luijk, Monique Jankowski, Ingrid de Vries, Doe Mee Verlos de Zee Vlissingen, 3 december 2018.
- https://www.facebook.com/hzgreenoffice/, HZ Green Office, 1 september 2018.
- Instagram hzgreenoffice, HZGreenOffice, HZGreenOffice, 1 september 2020.
- Article Janine Vink, Janine Vink, University Utrecht, 20 januari 2020.
- USING CITIZEN SCIENCE IN MONITORING PLASTIC DEBRIS ON BEACHES, Liliane Geerling, Christoph Sonneck, HZ Green Office, Rijkswaterstaat, 17 december 2019.
- Doe Mee Verlos de Zee, Monique Jankowski, Doe Mee Verlos de Zee, 27 oktober 2020.
- Convenant Schone Schelde, RWS, RWS, 19 februari 2020.
- Would Cleanup Day, World Cleanup Day, World Cleanup Day, 19 september 2020.