Volunteers cleaning Tullaghan beach
Over the past two weeks Clean Coasts have honoured winning groups, individuals, communities and businesses who have won an Ocean Hero Award for outstanding work and commitment to their coastlines and areas.
Each year, the Ocean Hero Awards honour the invaluable contribution Clean Coasts volunteers, groups and communities have made towards conserving our spectacular coastline. The awards, originally called the ‘Clean Coasts Merit Awards’, were conceived in 2006.
Being Ireland’s foremost community-based coastal education programme, the Clean Coasts programme can count on the work of over 1,800 volunteer groups and over 37,000 volunteers. The involvement and support of the whole community are essential to the work of Clean Coasts and the Ocean Hero Awards is an award thought to recognise the invaluable contribution volunteers, groups and communities have made towards conserving the Irish coastline.
It has been an unusual year, and, like everyone, Clean Coasts and their volunteers have had to adapt. The continued support, engagement, and interest from the many Clean Coasts volunteers around the country has been outstanding, showing dedication and resilience through these testing times.
Clean Coasts understands that it was not possible for everybody to take part in clean-up activities this year and for some it was incredibly frustrating not to be able to get out to those places that they love and normally care for. Nonetheless, there is great value in sharing examples of the creative solutions that groups have come up with to inspire us all to look ahead to the new year.
In an effort to recognise the growth of our volunteer groups, the number of Ocean Hero categories have expanded to include ten categories in 2021.
This year Leitrim based volunteer Martina Healy (who goes by the name @LeitrimLitterPicker on Instagram) was shortlisted in the #2minutebeachclean Leader Award category for the Ocean Hero Awards 2021.
The #2minutebeachclean Leader Award recognises the use of social media and direct action to empower, educate, inspire, and enable individuals, groups, and businesses to make simple changes or take part in simple actions that will contribute to the planet’s wellbeing, as well as their own.
When asked about her litter picking work Martina said: “With my passion for walking, and healthy living, it was no surprise that the eyesore of litter in beautiful Leitrim, could steer me on a course of action, to reverse the tide in favour of a cleaner and sustainable environment.”
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