Situation of the Beach
Beach has always been a major attraction to the visitors and to the local people to escape from the summer heat. Beach in Chennai are popular for its shops and food stalls, the memorials and statues, morning walk, joggers' track, lovers' spot, aquarium, and the like make it a hangout for people of all ages. Kite flying and beach cricket have been the common sports. A horse ride can always make you feel like a hero from our history books. The joyrides, merry-go-rounds and mini giant wheels make the beach a child friendly one.
Marina - Marina Beach, the pride of Chennai, is the second largest beach in the world and has a wide sandy foreshore. Situated on the beach, the Anna and MGR samadhis, which are the memorials of the most popular former Chief Ministers of the State attract good crowd everyday.
An aquarium is also located on the Marina Beach. Some of the most beautiful buildings in Chennai such as the University of Madras,Senate-House,Chepauk Palace, Presidency College, P.W.D office and Ice House are located on the beach drive.
Over the past few weeks, particularly during weekends, morning walkers and local fishermen at Marina have been noticing frothing of the estuary near Napier’s bridge, where Cooumriver drains into Marina.
Tragically all these sweet things turns to be the littering agents for most of the areas in the city. In spite of many food security awareness and anti-littering campaigns there have been huge lot of garbage accumulated in the major attractive places.How joyful it is to wiggling your feet in the wet sand, pulling together a handful of shells to look at, and the pleasant moment to see your child do its first walk.
Effects of Marine Litter
Marine animals may be harmed by marine litter/debris when they get entangled. Around the world, people have reported entanglement for several marine species - including the sea turtles.
Marine organisms and seabirds have been reported to have eaten plastics and other type of debris. A plastic bag floating on the sea surface resembles a jelly-fish, which are eaten by many species of fish and turtles.
Smothering of the seabed
Debris can smother seabed animals while larger items can be dragged along the seabed by currents, scraping and tearing up the seabed which is a fragile and vital habitat for bottom dwellers.
Accumulation and dispersion of toxic substances
Plastic litter can be a source of persistent toxic substances as it resembles food closely enough to fool even a mature marine mammal. Ingested plastic is not only toxic but can often lead to a lingering death.
Environmental changes due to invasive species:
Alien species may use debris in the ocean to migrate to new territory, where they can colonize and possibly overwhelm local marine ecosystems.
Smart Cleanathon is an initiative by Agni Foundation to keep the beach and the places in the city which are worth making new memories for each of us clean. This is the time for each of us to take a breath, walk a little and drop in garbage into a bin.
"Smart bin" is an invention designed by one of our young scientists from the Ignite Initiative. They are made of discarded wood from construction sites and recycled plastic. It is totally eco-friendly and high friendly. 80% of the population are the regular visitors of marina. By creating an awareness among them for one year on cleaning the beaches. Then it will be a habit.
Upon Commencing the initiative on Sunday 17/1/2016 with permission from the City Corporation officials and under the guidance of the Chennai Police department, we had engaged close to 2500 socially inclined men, women and children volunteer and placed 1250 smart bins from Napier bridge to Light House. We raised awareness on recycling plastic waste, encouraged the public to use Bins for organic waste and explained the harmful effects of littering.
Apart from the beaches and 20 other locations which was initially earmarked for the awareness campaign, we had also placed the smart bins with the support of 5 buses, 1 van & 1 jeep. On 18/1/2016 we had also placed these Bins at 42 homes for the elderly, mentally challenged, physically disabled and orphans that are under the wings of the Agni Foundation.
The children at some of these orphanages grasped the idea and picked up the initiative so quickly that they started relaying the same information to the streets around them, thereby setting a wonderful example for the society.
What was supposed to be a 2 day awareness campaign, turned out into a massive 5 day operation across the city of Chennai.This powerful movement has created such a positive impact among the public and our volunteers that we at the Agni Foundation are contemplating continuing the Smart Cleanathon 2K16 initiative every single month of 3rd Sunday of 2016!
- Around 108 tons of garbage has been cleaned in the last 8 months of our initiative.
- Over 16,902 volunteers was mobilized for the initiative.
- 10,000 smart bins was placed across the city
- Minimized the use of landfills, which is important as landfills consume space, are hazardous and cause air and water pollution
- Spreading the campaign all across the city to create more awareness among the public
- Creating educational classes as to the negative impact of solid wastes and ways for proper waste management.
- Spreading these awareness more among the housewives, as Charity always begins from Home and mothers and housewives play a major role in this initiative.Organizing Cleanathon campaigns regularly so that soon to keep the city clean will be a habit rather than a duty.
- To form a group among the volunteers on their locality and make them to run their own Cleanathon in their area.