About 150 volunteers from involved partners will contribute to the collection of rubbish and the cleaning of previously identified areas in the Ria Formosa, with the goal of repeating the operation at the end of the bathing season.

After the clean up has been carried out by the volunteers, the Portuguese Environment Agency, through the Administration of the Algarve Hydrographic Region, will carry out an awareness initiative with the qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the collected marine litter, as well as an analysis of the presence of microplastics in the water mass of the Ria Formosa.

The 150 participants of the entities involved in the initiative and other associations and local organisations, will be divided into teams of about 10 to 15 people and will work in areas previously identified by the ICNF, so as not to interfere with protected or nesting areas. All teams will be accompanied and supervised to ensure the protection and safeguarding of the dune ecosystem.

For Ana Antunes, director general of MAR Shopping Algarve: “This is an awareness-raising action that we consider essential to creating a spirit of collaboration between partners in the name of environmental preservation, whilst also inspiring the local population to have good practices and to take care when carrying out activities in nature and in general”. The organising entity also states that the action enhances the sharing of knowledge between entities regarding local fauna and nesting areas and environmental heritage.

Throughout the year, at least 8 million tonnes of plastic waste is dumped into the oceans, according to information from the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), with a portion of this then washing onto beaches and harming ecosystems and marine life.