Paddle boarders and kayakers join forces for River Lee cleanup

Paddle boarders and kayakers join forces for River Lee cleanup
Dave Ludgate, Nathalie Laukart, Craig Tillotson and Eoin Delahunty taking part in the An Taisce Clean Coasts 'cleanup' of the River Lee and river bank at the Lee Fields. Pic; Larry Cummins.

A KAYAK cleanup took place on the River Lee at the weekend as part of Clean Coast week and the Cork Harbour Festival.

All competent kayakers and stand up paddle boarders (SUPs) were invited to take part in the event hoping to rid the river of a great deal of rubbish.

Cork’s Clean Coast officer Susan Vickers said the event, which was run for the first time last year, is a huge help in keeping the river clean.

Stephen Tobin taking part in An Taisce Clean Coasts 'cleanup' of the River Lee and river bank at the Lee Fields. Pic; Larry Cummins.
Stephen Tobin taking part in An Taisce Clean Coasts 'cleanup' of the River Lee and river bank at the Lee Fields. Pic; Larry Cummins.

“The kayakers and SUPs are able to reach areas you can’t get from land. They have better access to the river bank and to things stuck in the banks that you can’t get at from land.”

Susan said that the river team retrieve all kinds of things from the water, including bits of bikes and a lot of plastic.

A total of 26 beach cleans took place across the Cork city and county as part of Clean Coast week.

Across the country, Ms Vickers said that almost 200 cleanups were organised across the week.

Along with the cleanups, a number of fun events based around the water have been organised to get more people engaged with the coast.

“We are more likely to look after what we use and what we engage with,” Susan explained.

“So we are trying to get more people out and about and enjoying the coastline. Every piece of litter removed from the coast is a piece of litter that won’t pollute our oceans or harm wildlife.”

Kayakers from CIT Paddlers taking part in An Taisce Clean Coasts 'cleanup' of the River Lee and river bank at the Lee Fields. Pic; Larry Cummins.
Kayakers from CIT Paddlers taking part in An Taisce Clean Coasts 'cleanup' of the River Lee and river bank at the Lee Fields. Pic; Larry Cummins.

The Clean Coasts programme works with communities to help protect and care for Ireland’s waterways, coastline, seas, ocean and marine life.

The organisation has grown over the years and now includes two main national clean-up drives — Coca-Cola Clean Coasts Week, and the Big Beach Clean.

Volunteering has expanded to include corporate volunteering and the Ocean Hero Awards.

Clean Coasts also operate several campaigns in Ireland including Think Before You Flush and international campaigns which include #2minutebeachclean and Beat the Microbead.

For more information on Clean Coasts and Clean Coasts week, visit http://www.cleancoasts.org.

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