Promoted by the Association for the Study and Conservation of Oceans (AECO) the cleaning up was attended by more than 50 volunteers.
Speaking to Lusa, the project coordinator Sandra Godinho said that “they have been collecting mountains of things and it is difficult to quantify in tonnes the weight of the rubbish collected. You could say that it was more than 2 tonnes.”

“From fishing nets, to batteries, to tires, the remains of boats, woods, plastics, a mountain of rubbish that was deposited in Culatra has been collected” she said.

The action took place between the harbour area and the recovo – a kind of inland lagoon – across an area of about four hectares on Culatra Island, one of the barrier islands of the Ria Formosa on the Algarve coast on 21 July.

“There was so much rubbish concentrated in such a small area that it will be necessary to use tractors to transport it to the proper places.” said Sandra Godinho.

The campaign is part of the project “Ria Formosa without plastic” an initiative that won the international competition promoted by the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA). It allowed the association to obtain funding to hire divers from the University of the Algarve for underwater cleaning of the island.

“Our goal is centred on behaviour change because we cannot continue to pretend that nothing is happening, to fold our arms and say it was not me. We must work together to reduce our ecological footprint in the future” concluded the project coordinator.