Ever thought that you have a 1 in 7 chance of contracting gastro-enteritis by swimming in the sea? Or that a plastic bottle can stay in the marine environment for more that 450 years if left on a beach? Well, Surfers Against Sewage, the latest charity to join iStreet, has.
Last week we welcomed on board Surfers Against Sewage. An environmental charity based in Cornwall, whose mission is to protect the waves and beaches that surround the UK, SAS has a crew of representatives up and down the country working nationally and locally on major issues such as water quality, shipping, the impact of climate change and the dangers of toxic chemicals to water users and wildlife.
But one of SAS's biggest campaigns is for the reduction of marine litter. 6.4 million tons of litter is estimated to enter the sea each year - an amount which has more than doubled in the last fifteen years. In a bid to educate the public on the impact of littering, SAS organises local beach litter picks and has recently run a 'No Butts on the Beach' campaign, urging the public to dispose of cigarette waste appropriately. Every year 4.5 trillion cigarette butts litter the environment, each containing enough toxin to pollute 8 litres of water.
We spoke to Fundraising Officer Katy Sweeney and asked her a few questions about Surfers Against Sewage.
Hi Katy, when was Surfers Against Sewage established?
Surfers Against Sewage was established in 1990 so we're 25 years old this year!
Can you tell us what the main aims of SAS are?
SAS’s mission is to protect the UK coastline for everyone to enjoy safely and sustainably.
How will donations raised through iStreet help SAS?
iStreet donations will help us carry out more beach cleans and education talks, train regional reps in your area and get our campaign team in front of policy and decision-makers. Donations are vital to our continued work to clean up our shores: we aim to reduce marine litter by 50% in 2020. This is an ambitious challenge that we can’t achieve without the generosity of our supporters.
What does the future hold for SAS?
With 2015 being our 25th birthday now is the time to look to the future of SAS and dream of clean and safe coastlines for us to enjoy and for all marine life that call the coast their home.
Despite its name, you don't have to be a surfer to support SAS. Anyone can become a supporter - after all, nothing beats a good day out at the beach! You can give a free donation to Surfers Against Sewage simply by shopping online through iStreet and help protect our waves. Join Today