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Swachh Sagar Surkashit Sagar – mega beach clean-up drives by MoES at 79 locations on International Coastal Cleanup Day

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New Delhi: The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) conducted mega citizen-led beach clean-up drives at 79 locations in 8 coastal states and 4 UTs of the country on 16 September 2023 that continued on 17 September 2023 to mark International Coastal Clean-up Day.  The event was aimed to encourage citizens to clean up the coastal line and create awareness about preserving and protecting the oceans and waterways.

It witnessed mass participation from government institutions, NGOs, students and youth, local dwellers, and the public. Over five thousand volunteers helped clean about 18 tons of waste. At 12 select locations, Fisherfolk Awareness Programs to educate coastal communities about the services of the MoES were organised along with the beach clean-up drive.

The 2033 Swachh Sagar Surkashit Sagar beach clean-up drives by five MoES institutes—Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR), National Centre for Ocean and Polar Research (NCPOR), Centre for Marine Living Resources and Ecology (CMLRE), and National Centre for Earth System Sciences (NCESS)— got associated many volunteers and NGOs making it a one-of-its-kind successful event.  

“Our oceans are vital to our survival, for regulating the climate and weather, which impact livelihood and economy, are home to valuable resources, and nurture a large share of biodiversity of this planet. The International Coastal Clean-up Day serves as a reminder for all of us to keep our coasts clean and our oceans safe”, said Dr M Ravichandran, Secretary, MoES. He also mentioned Ozone Day on the occasion coinciding with International Coastal Clean-up Day on September 16, 2023.

The International Coastal Clean-up Day is observed annually worldwide on the third Saturday of September every year. In 2022, the Ministry of Earth Sciences coordinated the inter-ministerial Swachh Sagar Surkashit Sagar (clean coast, safe sea) campaign as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav of the Government of India. The Swachh Sagar Surkashit Sagar 2022 was a 75-day long campaign covering 75 beaches with 75 volunteers every kilometre of the coastline, making the event a hugely successful mass public participatory and awareness initiative.

MoES services (by the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, i.e., INCOIS) for fisherfolk and coastal communities include potential fishing zone advisories, Tuna advisories, ocean state forecasts and alerts, such as for tsunamis, storm surges, swell surges, etc. Ocean-related information is made available to more than 4 lakh beneficiaries every day through the latest modes of digital communication, such as mobile apps, SMS, and websites.  

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