YMCA Dublin took to a beach in Bray today to mark World Ocean Day, an event that aims to highlight coastline cleanliness.
With increasing numbers of people enjoying sea swimming across Ireland this summer, YMCA Dublin is urging the public to be more mindful of the impact that littering and in particular, single use plastics, can have on the environment and the ocean.
One young YMCA Dublin volunteer, Tori Maher said: “Over the past few weekends in particular, we have noticed a huge increase in littering in the streets and local beaches.
“It’s really great that people are enjoying the outdoors again, but people need to be aware that the rubbish they leave behind has an impact and can have really bad consequences for the ocean and sea life.
“Today, we picked up so many plastic bottles that probably had been used just once and then thrown away without thought – switching to a reusable water bottle is just one simple change that can help make a big difference.
“We are delighted to be here today to help in some way.”
YMCA Dublin is one of the oldest registered charities in the world, working with communities in inner city Dublin since 1849.
The Youth Work team leading the group today came up with the idea to do a beach clean up as part of the social enterprises Sustainability Development Goals, which aim to empower communities to create a positive impact on the environment and the wider world.
Kathryn O’Mahony, CEO of YMCA Dublin said:“At the ‘Y’ we actively look for opportunities to make an impact, on both the young lives in communities where we work and in the wider world around us.
“We love days like today, when we can combine the two and get actively involved to do something good,” she said.
O’Mahony said: “Due to restrictions, it has been a long time since our Youth Work teams have been able to meet with the young people we support in person.
“We have just started back engaging in some outdoor activities for the summer and really see the benefits of getting out and about again.
“Over the past year we have adapted the way we work and adjusted to the virtual world for most of our programmes and mentoring – while this has been a great resource of course, there is really nothing like enjoying the great outdoors together again and doing what we do best!”