SANCCOB celebrates Mandela Day with a coastal clean-up

JULY 23, 2015

The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) in the Eastern Cape hosted its annual coastal clean-up event for Mandela Day on 18 July, from Shark Point to Mostertshoek, St Francis Bay, in the Kouga Local Municipality. 

In spite of the cold Cape St. Francis weather, a 120-strong crowd joined the event and dedicated 67 minutes of their time to collect rubbish and pollution along this precious stretch of coastline.

The coastal clean-up was attended by members of the St Francis Kromme Trust, scholars of St Francis College and members of the greater St. Francis community. 

As a seabird hospital, SANCCOB saves seabirds 365 days a year and has treated nearly 1 000 endangered African penguins and other vulnerable seabirds since its establishment in Cape St Francis in March 2013. 

Plastic litter and items like discarded fishing gear, bags, ropes, straws and caps pose a real threat to seabirds. Over the years, SANCCOB has admitted thousands of birds that have been entangled by rope, injured by sharp objects or have indigested plastic materials.  

SANCCOB’s message is clear: “everyone should be conscious of the health of our seabirds and oceans and dispose their litter and plastic in a responsible manner.”

At the close of the event, participants enjoyed delicious pancakes prepared by SANCCOB volunteers and took the opportunity to learn more about the organisation’s rehabilitation work during a guided behind-the-scenes tour. They also received a warm thank you for their volunteering duties on Mandela Day.