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Trawling Ban in effect! A msg from WWF….

Posted on January 29th, 2013 in Air and Water Quality by Kate Wade

WWF_edm_Banner.jpg

Dear Supporter,

I am pleased to inform you that as of 31 December 2012, the territory-wide trawling ban came into full effect. This legislation provides a solid foundation on which to build a sustainable fishery in Hong Kong. This ban, applicable to all forms of trawling in the entirety of Hong Kong waters, was one of our key conservation achievements in 2012 and it was your support that made it happen. Since 2005, WWF has been tirelessly campaigning for a ban on trawling in Hong Kong waters, and has been advocating that the government implement further measures to preserve the city’s near-collapsed marine ecology. This groundbreaking fisheries management measure will safeguard the diversity of marine life and ecological integrity of our marine environment. WWF hopes that the Hong Kong government will continue to provide support to the affected fishers and help them make the switch to other livelihoods like marine eco-tourism. We are also urging the government to implement the concept of Marine Spatial Planning, which will allow Hong Kong to allocate marine resources more efficiently, to balance ecological, social and economic objectives.

These gains aside, we are disappointed to have to inform you that another marine species in Hong Kong – the Chinese white dolphin – is also under threat. Over 1,700 hectares of the sea in western Hong Kong waters has been reclaimed in past decades, causing great disturbance and the direct loss of the habitat of this precious marine mammal. Compounding the problem, this reclamation has also removed the habitat of the fish on which these dolphins feed. WWF is urging the government to ensure that any possible impacts to the dolphins are kept to a minimum by putting in place sufficient environmental protection measures. We firmly believe a balance has to be struck between development and the survival of this unique species. Your support will help us improve the situation for the dolphins. Everyone in Hong Kong enjoys life in the ocean’s embrace, but our marine environment is under great pressure and the sea needs everyone’s support to restore its health and beauty. Your charitable contribution will make a big difference by ensuring the continued success of our marine conservation programs. Show your support by making a donation today. With every donation of HK$500 or above, you will receive a FREE dolphin key ring and a one-year WWF membership.

Yours Faithfully,

Samantha Lee
Senior Conservation Officer, Marine
WWF-Hong Kong

Please sign petition…..

Posted on November 18th, 2012 in Air and Water Quality,Beach Clean-up by Kate Wade

Hi DB Green,

Please sign and pass on the petition below from Kevin Laurie.

And big thanks to those of you at the beach today!

Have a great week and sign sign sign!

Cheers,

Kate

Hi,

The Government is currently seeking input on the 2013 Policy Address, so we have initiated a petition asking for the establishment of four Marine/Country Parks which were previously proposed, but never designated.

 Background

 In 2001, the South West New Territories Development Strategy Review recommended a mix of development balanced with important conservation measures, to protect critical habitat for a number of marine and land species. In terms of conservation, the strategy recommended creating  SW Lantau Marine Park, Soko Islands Marine Park, South Lamma Country and Marine Park, and Po Toi Country Park. Whilst much of the development in the Strategy Review has been undertaken, the conservation action has not been completed, therefore none of these important conservation areas have been established. Despite this, neither the science, nor the need for creating these parks has changed.

 Petition

 To address the imbalance that has arisen between development and conservation, in the 2012-2013 Policy Address, we have asked the Chief Executive to commit to establishing these areas as either parks or reserves. Details of the campaign can be found on Facebook at:

 http://www.facebook.com/MarineParksHongKong

 The online petition can be found at:

 https://www.change.org/petitions/we-want-marine-parks-in-the-2013-hong-kong-policy-address

 Request

 Can you PLEASE PROMOTE THIS CAMPAIGN to your members via Email, through Facebook or whatever other means you have. The more signatures the petition receives, the more likely the government is to create these parks.

 Please note

 The government are not the enemy in this case, so we do not want to make this a “public campaign”, but believe through reason, sensible advocacy and by quietly garnering public support, we can achieve these objectives.

 Regards Kevin.

International Coastal Cleanup Sept 15 – Nim Shue Wan (1-5pm)

Posted on September 10th, 2012 in Air and Water Quality,Beach Clean-up by Angie Bucu

DB Green has a very SPECIAL beach cleanup event organized for this Saturday the 15th at Nim Shue Wan (1-5pm).  This is the Annual International Coastal Cleanup.  

At this event we will be recording data on all of the debris and rubbish collected by participants. This information is sent to Ocean Conservancy along with data from thousands of Coastal Cleanup events around the world and they will compile this data to provide a compelling global snapshot of marine debris collected during the International Coastal Cleanup.

Participants will be rewarded with a sausage sizzle and Barefoot wine (for the adults) and of course cold drinks for all compliments of our sponsors: Hemingway’s, Barefoot Wines and Hoi Yu

What to bring – a water bottle, sturdy shoes, hat, sunscreen and bug spra. We want to make this the GREENEST event yet so please bring only refillable water bottles.

DB Green will supply water for refills, gloves, rubbish bags, and various tools required for collecting the smaller bits like plastic pellets.

Please visit our FB page and let us know if you are coming: http://www.facebook.com/events/316256921806527/

See you on the beach!

 

 

 

 

Beach Cleanup Sunday 9am till 5pm

Posted on August 31st, 2012 in Air and Water Quality,Beach Clean-up,Events by Kate Wade

Hi DB Green,

This weekend we are concentrating our efforts on Sam Pak Wan. That is where you’ll find a DB green person at most times of the day- so if you are looking for guidance please go to that beach near the North Plaza.

HOWEVER Nim Shue Wan could also do with some work so if you are happy to work without us you will still find all the equipment, gloves and bags you might need at the central part of the beach near the concrete house opposite the pier.

Just a little note I would like to add- we see many people collecting nurdles for recycling- I think this was wrongly advised on tv and newspapers as the correct way to deal with the nurdles. While this might be the case for large quantities found together, at this stage of the beach cleanups, it is very VERY VVEERRRYYY time consuming to separate the nurdles from the rest of the beach debris and is a really inefficient use of your time. It would be much more effective to use a brush and dustpan to pick them up and place them either in the  large cylinder sifters with handles  situated at some of the beaches (see plastic cleaner facebook page on right) or into a sieve and then wet with the beach water to get rid of the sand. Whatever you are left with can go straight into the rubbish (feel free to rescue some shells from the leftovers and throw them back on to the beach before you throw in the bin.) To individually pick out each nurdle will be much slower. In fact on Sunday I might conduct an experiment: 10 mins of each method and see which one picks up the greatest quantity! IT IS QUANTITY NOT QUALITY OF THE NURDLES WE WANT! Of course if you are having fun picking them up individually or want to save them as a souvenir/top up your bean bag then please continue on!

Have  a great weekend and hope to see you Sunday!

Cheers,

Kate

Beach Cleanups this weekend 25/26 Aug

Posted on August 25th, 2012 in Air and Water Quality,Beach Clean-up,Events by Kate Wade

Hi DB Green,

Apologies for not getting the information out to you about this weekends cleanups. Hopefully you’ve been keeping up on Facebook…

So beach cleanups will be going on Saturday and Sunday, 9am till 5pm, on Nim Shue Wan/Cheung Sha Wan and Sam Pak Wan- (see previous posts for directions to those beaches.) We will have a representative at each beach  (Dana, Tracey, Stella, Angie and myself) will be distributed amongst the three beaches definitely in the morning period with a few of us in the afternoon. We will help you with the most economical methods of nurdle and rubbish collection however the bags and gloves will be there and limited equipment (first in) will be available all day at the beaches if you arrive and can’t find us.

Look forward to seeing you then!

Kate

 

Beach cleanups today 12Aug’12

Posted on August 13th, 2012 in Air and Water Quality,Beach Clean-up,Events by Kate Wade

Awesome effort today! Big thanks to all the volunteers! What a great day- perfect weather and working with great people just makes it all worthwhile. Every muscle in my body is aching but when you do this kind of work it is so uplifting. I completed a survey once that said that people who do environmental work are happier with life and have more satisfaction then those who don’t. I totally believe it! Another reason to keep up all your good work throughout your life! Heres’ some photos from today:

Thanks again for all your hard work. And so nice to meet so many new beach cleaners today!
Remember to keep up to date with the latest news on our Facebook pg http://www.facebook.com/DBGreenHK
Kate

Sunday 12 Aug beach cleanups: Peng Chau/DB/other beaches

Posted on August 11th, 2012 in Air and Water Quality,Beach Clean-up,Events by Kate Wade

Hi beach cleaners!

Dana and I will head to Peng Chau in the morning and check out the beaches once more. I will stay in Peng Chau for a couple of hours to help finish off the main beach Tung Wan. Then I will take most of the equipment back to DB midday. Anyone is welcome to continue working on the Peng Chau beaches if they like. There is nurdles stuck in the rocks and mixed in with the sand particularly on the southern side of the Tung Wan beach (go to the right hand sides you arrive at the beach).
In the afternoon we will work on the Discovery Bay beaches. Nim Shue Wan and Sam Pak Wan. There is also reports that if you walk around the rocks from Sam Pak Wan to the next beach there is lots of nurdles on the beach there.

For those of you who would like to try some other beaches that require help please check out the following Facebook pages:

‘Plastic Cleaner’  http://www.facebook.com/groups/395322903865421/

‘Living Islands Movement’  http://www.facebook.com/LivingIslandsMovement

Big thanks for all the helpers today- here are some photos of volunteers from Tung Wan beach today- thanks for your awesome work at ALL the beaches in Peng Chau today – I believe beaches 4 and 5 are vastly improved- WELL DONE!!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/30630752@N08/sets/72157631013467354/

And from some volunteers photos from the north beaches https://picasaweb.google.com/117292937633639498578/20120811PengChauWithDBGreen

https://picasaweb.google.com/112526306869034531537/11082012

Cheers,
Kate

Saturday (11th) Beach Cleanup- Peng Chau blitz

Posted on August 9th, 2012 in Air and Water Quality,Beach Clean-up,Events by Dana Winograd

Hi everyone,

This Saturday we are organising a beach clean up on Peng Chau (the small island across from Discovery Bay). If you want to be met at the ferry in Peng Chau, please take the 9:15am ferry from Central Ferry Pier 6 or the ferry leaving Discovery Bay at 9:20am. Both will arrive in Peng Chau at approx 9:40.You can go to Tung Wan beach which is a short walk through the village or take a longer walk (total 1km) along the west coast (very pretty) where there are 5 beaches. The first 3 beaches were not too bad when last checked, but the last 2 were filthy. Although there are not huge nurdle deposits, they are coming in with the tide and mixed in with all of the rubbish and we need to get those beaches clean.There will be some signs along the way to lead people who arrive after the above times. The road leading to Peng Yu Path and the 5 beaches is called Peng Lei Rd. If you are heading for Tung Wan beach, just ask if you don’t see signs. It is a short and easy walk. Come whenever you can. Check this page before you leave for any last minute updates.We will provide gloves if you need them and garbage bags. Please bring your own equipment if you want. If you don’t have any, your hands are great tools for picking up rubbish as well!

Be sure to bring plenty of water as beaches 1-5 are isolated.

Thanks again to everyone who has been offering their assistance. This couldn’t be done without you all!

Here are some helpful links:
Central to Peng Chau ferry schedule:http://www.hkkf.com.hk/index.php?op=timetable&page=pengchau&style=en

DB to Peng Chau ferry schedule:http://www.td.gov.hk/en/transport_in_hong_kong/public_transport/ferries/service_details/index.html#k11

To John and your friends in Peng Chau who showed me the bags of pellets the other day – I hope to see you there. Be sure to spread the word!

Which beach is closest to you?

Posted on August 8th, 2012 in Air and Water Quality,Beach Clean-up,Events by Kate Wade

Hi folks,

After various organizations met up a couple of days ago it was decided that the beaches of Hong Kong should be divided up into areas of responsibility in regards coordinating beach cleanups. ( This doesn’t mean you can’t go down to any beach with friends at any time- but if you want to join in an organized cleanup these are the organizations who will be covering those beaches).

Group

Cleanup area

Website

DB Green and Plastic Free Seas

Lantau East & Peng Chau

www.dbgreen.org

www.plasticfreeseas.org

Ocean Park and Ocean Park Conservation Foundation

Cheung Chau, Lamma Island

www.oceanpark.com.hk

WWF-Hong Kong

Po Toi, Waglan Island, Beaufort Island, Sung Kong

www.wwf.org.hk

EcoVision Asia

Hong Kong Island South

www.HKcoastalcleanup.org

Lamma Corner & Green Power

Tai Long Wan

www.facebook.com/lamma.lammacorner

Also check out Kevins post today on Hong Kong Coastwatch and also check out Gary’s map of where the containers have been found so far.

Dana will be posting shortly with beach cleanup plans for this weekend. We will have beach cleanups both days but at least on Saturday the focus won’t be on DB but Peng Chau. Later this week we will let you know where we will cover on Sunday.

Big thanks for all your help and enthusiasm- if you are going to join in other organizations for beaches closer to you we thank you so much for your support of DB Green. I am very lucky to be surrounded by some of the most knowledgeable people in Hong Kong when it comes to our oceans, namely Tracey Read, Gary Stokes and Kevin Laurie and I’m incredibly proud that they are associated with our grass roots volunteer group, and indeed, in the case of Tracey, have been instrumental in it’s formation from the very first meeting. Great people, great friends, and a mammoth asset to Hong Kong!!!

And big thanks also to Dana and Angie for all their hard work and organization with the beach cleanups. The best thing about doing volunteer work is, hands down, the people you associate with- every time you go out and clean a beach you are surrounded with great people who are just the most enjoyable people to be around! Of course the results of our labour also scores big life satisfaction points to!

No more rambling! Just a big thanks to all the volunteers, and sorry I can’t get to all your phone calls and emails, text msgs and What’s Apps. I have a full time job and 4 children. But hopefully you are finding all the information you require on the website and on the links on the right hand side. Each of DB Green key people has their own websites so check them out…

Have a great weekend see you in the weekend,

Cheers,

Kate

Nurdle collecting methods

Posted on August 7th, 2012 in Air and Water Quality,Beach Clean-up,Events by Kate Wade

Big thanks to all the volunteers who’ve come out and still continuing to visit DB- it is just a thrill for all of us in DB Green to see so many enthusiastic beach cleaners. Let’s hope that this is just the beginning of a long association with you all and all the beaches around Hong Kong. It’s an activity you can do any time the mood takes you, at any beach and always makes you feel good when you see what a huge difference a few hands can do! I recommend a beach BBQ or picnic when you’ve finished- such a great way to enjoy the beach you’ve just cleaned!

METHODS for nurdle collecting

There are several methods that can be used to collect nurdles. Previously we’ve posted various ways-

1. Brush and broom is very effective for lines of nurdles along the beach that settle where the waves left them. Check Tracey’s entry here: http://journeytotheplasticocean.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/cleaning-up-the-pellets/

2. Sieves and colandars are also very effective. Here is a couple of methods from one of the volunteers Jeff which looks like it works well! Check out the videos he made on Sunday on You Tube. Awesome Jeff!! http://youtu.be/aHwC9JXGx9o      http://youtu.be/cMmoMR7StAQ

3. Nets are perfect for getting stuff both off the soft sand and also out of the water. Check out Kevin Laurie’s blog here on using nets from a boat http://hongkongcoastwatch.blogspot.hk/2012/08/plastic-nurdles-inshore-cleanup-kit.html He also developed the following method- walking in the water with a polystyrene container floating beside you to use as your collection bucket. See photos and note you can make your own net as one of our volunteers did with fabric netting and a coat hanger- fantastic!

 The important thing is to get  out and have a go- and if you can do it as a continual project even better! The more rubbish we get off the beaches and coastline the less gets into our ocean. Hong Kong’s fish stock has already decreased remarkably (due overfishing mostly) since the 1960’s and there has been several warnings that the entire ocean eco system in Hong Kong is on the verge of collapse. With the trawling boats (that do so much damage to the sea beds) to be abolished in the near future and a concerted effort by Hong Kong to keep our waterways and beaches clean we might once again be able to provide the healthy environment needed to replenish Hong Kong’s fish life! A no fishing zone in various areas would help that too!

And what can WE do to stop our oceans getting clogged up with garbage in the first place? Reduce our dependence on plastics and disposable items as a matter of urgency. If you can only use it once don’t buy it. Purchase items with the least amount of packaging- don’t buy bottled water- drink tap water – filter it if you prefer. There is literally hundreds of actions we can do to decrease our use of so much disposable items. They have really only been around since the 1970’s This disposable world we live in is a NEW thing- so we only need to go back to the old way of thinking. Tracey will be talking about this more with one of the prominent newspapers tomorrow so look out for an article about that shortly and perhaps take a look at what you use in your life that is of single use- can you find a different way that doesn’t involve using up resources and creating rubbish??

More to think about and once again THANK YOU!! There have been so many wonderful volunteers out and about- check out Tracey’s link on the Lamma Island cleanup on Sunday- how incredible! http://journeytotheplasticocean.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/talk-about-a-revolution/ I wish I could have seen that- (but some of us have to work on Sundays!)

Keep cleaning,

Kate

 

 

 

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