Brussels, 20-23rd March 2014 -- This week Surfrider Foundation Europe launched its 19th Ocean Initiative. After the success of last year’s campaign against single-use plastic bags, Surfrider decided to focus this year’s campaign further upstream and downstream. 

This served as an opportunity for Surfrider to convey the viewpoints of the growing number of citizens involved in the fight against marine litter to the national and European level. Ocean Initiatives are traditionally held on the first Spring weekend but are actually organised all year long, so it’s not too late to participate in our 2014 Ocean Initiatives!

Raising awareness and getting the wider public involved
80% of marine litter comes from the land; for this reason, this year’s aim was to make people aware that an apparently harmless action like dropping litter on the ground, even in an urban space far from the sea, could have consequences for the marine environment. 

Each year the Ocean Initiatives bring together thousands of people from all over the world. The aim of these beach and inland litter collections is to raise awareness among the wider public about the great quantities of marine litter found along our coasts and in the oceans. This involvement of citizens gives more weight to Surfrider’s lobbying efforts to improve existing regulations and fight against marine litter in Europe. 

Humans: the source and solution of pollution on the coast and in the oceans
Almost 6.5 billion kilos of plastic litter is poured into the oceans every year. Although the litter comes from many sources, this pollution does have one thing in common: humans. Our consumption and production patterns are the chief cause of today’s pollution on the coasts and in the oceans; it is therefore up to us to act. These Ocean Initiatives are an opportunity for each one of us to get as involved as we can by organising or taking part in a litter collection action near our homes. Surfrider helps facilitate these actions by sending educational kits to organisers to help them with their collection. 
Surfrider wants to go even further this year and bring a more scientific angle to the litter collection days - organisers are therefore invited to complete a report form after each collection using the existent quantification guidelines, in order to help Surfrider to establish the full picture of litter found on different coastlines like last year. 

If you would like to find out more about Surfrider and Ocean Initiatives:
www.initiativesoceanes.org
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