Berhampur University, National Centre for Coastal Research organsied International Coastal Clean-up Day at Gopalpur Beach

Berhampur: The International Coastal Clean-up Day was celebrated in on 16th September 2023 by organizing a beach cleaning activity program at Gopalpur Beach commencing with a Rally for raising awareness about clean coast. It was jointly organized by the Dept. of Environmental Studies, Berhampur University, National Centre for Coastal Research, Chennai, State Pollution Control Board (Regional Office), Berhampur, and Rotary Club International of Berhampur. The entire activity was coordinated by the Dept. of Environmental Studies, Berhampur University. The theme of this year’s program was “Fighting for Trash Free Seas”. It was inaugurated on the beach premises, which was presided by Prof Geetanjali Dash, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor of Berhampur university. The regional officer State Pollution Control Board, Er. Deepak Ku Sahoo; the President of Rotary Club of Berhampur Shri Pradyumna Kumar Bisoyi, the Executive Officer NAC Gopalpur and Dr. B. Anjan Kumar Prusty, HoD, Env. Studies, BU were present in the said inaugural event. Dr Kabita Baral, Asst. Professor, Env. Studies, BU introduced the theme of the program. Dr. Prusty, HoD, Environmental Studies briefed the forum about the purpose of this day, the need for a clean coast for overall wellbeing, and thanked all the collaborators for joining with the Dept. of Env. Studies for organizing this mega event. Prof. Dash appreciated the collaborative efforts of multiple agencies for a common cause i.e beach cleaning which should be an essential activity for keeping the marine ecosystem pristine and making it sustainable for the future. Er. Deepak Ku. Sahoo emphasized on the strategies followed in the integrated waste management system locally & globally and defined the wastes as “reusable resources in the wrong place”. According to him if one follows the three “R” principles of reduce, reuse and recycle diligently, then the management of pollutants would be easier. The Rotary Club President and Executive officer NAC Gopalpur also supported the above contentions and advised against the usage of single use plastics. Dr Santosh K Beja, Asst. Prof. Env Studies, BU thanked the addressees for their active participation. The other incumbent members of the department viz., and Dr Rachna Panda (faculty) and Mr. B. Bisoi (Office Assistant) extended their full support and helped in the coordination of the total event. The event was a revelation for the general public and the students to gain new information about the waste management strategies and increased the awareness amongst all about the fate of the pollutants and the mitigative measures taken up to prevent it.
The vibrant ambience was filled with around 250 students which was a wonderful assemblage of Post Graduate students & Research Scholars of Dept of Environmental Studies BU, Graduate students of Gopalpur College, school children of Veda Vyas School, Berhampur and respective agency members. To be in sync with earlier years data collection practice, a 500 mtr stretch on the beach was cleaned, the garbage/thrash was segregated, as per the approved guidelines, by the students, research scholars and faculty members of the Dept. of Environmental Studies, BU. The whole process was scientifically carried out following the technical protocol of waste segregation, documentation provided by NCCR, which is the nodal agency under the Ministry of Earth Sciences coordinating this nationwide programme on Coastal Cleanup Day. The total wastes collected from the ½ km stretch of beach area was around 170 kgs out of which the non degradable large plastics weighed 46 kgs and small plastics weighed 30 kgs. The remaining wastes consisted of glass and degradable wastes like plant material, wood clothes etc. Finally, the sorted waste was transferred to the material recovery facility of Gopalpur NAC through the transfer vehicle provided by NAC, Gopalpur for further processing and disposal.

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