Students of St. Mary’s School, Methodist College and Hindu College of Trincomalee gather at the Trincomalee beach to participate in the coastal cleanup event

A beach cleanup week commencing from 19 September to 23 has been declared to mark and energize the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) 2015 Day. This national program covered the entire coastal stretch round the country under the theme of ‘SAYURA RAKIMU API SURAKEMU’ (Save the Ocean for our Protection). It was inaugurated by the President himself at the Galle Face Green to clean-up the country’s beaches on September 19 2015. Running parallel with the main program in Colombo several other events were also held by the Government in Gampaha, Kalutara, Puttalam, Mannar, Kilinochchi, Jaffna, Batticaloa, Ampara, Matara, Trincomalee, Galle and Hambanthota Districts.

PLC Trincomalee branch singularly sponsored this colorful flagship-signature event at Trincomalee in the East coast on September 22,2015, in partnership with schoolchildren, relevant government organizations and general public. The pollution of the ocean is a problem which affects the health of the people, natural habitat of marine life, local economic and rich biodiversities.

The objectives of the program are to quantify the composition of marine debris on beach around Sri Lanka, make the public aware of the importance of waste-free marine environment and promote conservation of marine environment, enhance public participation on conservation of environment to ensure sustainability of marine and coastal environmental related industries such as fisheries and tourism.

People’s Leasing being as a responsible corporate collaborated with the Divisional Secretariat in Trincomalee, and lead this beach cleaning initiative. This signature event in Trincomalee raised awareness on marine pollution at source to make an edge and attitude change among the general public to minimize coastal pollution and to keep the coastal belt cleaner to attract visitors particularly the tourists.

Trinco marine stretch of one kilometer area was cleaned. The chief guest for the significant event was the Chief Minister of Eastern Province, Divisional Secretary, Chairman and General Manager of Marine Environmental Protection Authority, Director of Planning of the District Secretariat, municipal authorities, PLC branch manager and his staff, 500 participants including 150 school children, environmentalists, and representatives of government agencies.

PLC Trinco hosted refreshments and memorabilia among participants. PLC also provided segregated waste collection bins, gloves and garbage bags to facilitate environmental friendly and responsible disposal of waste with a view to redefine the development of rich and sandy marine environment in Sri Lanka.

The ICC is a global signature event initiated by Ocean Conservancy in 1986. It is celebrated worldwide on September 3, every year. This International Day is about much more than just cleaning-up trash. It creates the opportunity for every human being to join this great event and expresstheir respects for our oceans and waterways.

Incidentally, the government declared September 21 to 27 as Maritime and Naval Week. This was the first time Sri Lanka held such an event under this theme. This event was held under the advice and condition of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Coincidentally, the Colombo International Maritime Conference 2015 was also held for the first time in Sri Lanka under the theme ‘Maritime Education and Training’.

According to Oceanic Region Law, the area of 1,700 kilometers around Sri Lanka has been marked as the Coastal Pollution Prevention Zone. Therefore, the International Coastal Clean-Up Day is of high significance to Sri Lanka.