Tonight with Lester Podcast

Beautiful News


Guest : Aaniyah Omardien

Talking about marine conservation isn’t enough. The shocking state of our beaches
demands immediate action. At coastal rock pools across the world, octopus, starfish,
and anemone compete for space with cooldrink bottles, sweet wrappers, and fishing
gut. These plastic items absorb harmful chemicals and pollutants. Over time, they break
down and are ingested by sea creatures, bringing toxins into the food chain. A crisis of
this magnitude warrants a collective movement. Aaniyah Omardien is gathering the
masses to clean up this mess.
In 2015, Omardien founded The Beach Co-op, a non-profit organisation committed to
keeping South Africa’s seas healthy and plastic-free. The all-female team meet with
volunteers every new moon to remove pollution from Surfer’s Corner on Muizenberg
Beach.
As an environmental scientist, Omardien also hosts events to track the ‘Dirty Dozen’, a
selection of marine refuse that repeatedly washes up. This includes items such as
earbuds, lighters, and lollipop sticks. Collecting and recording the debris allows
Omardien’s team to observe the levels of trash in the water. With data, they can
substantiate the urgency for a response.

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