The pollution along the coastal areas is very detrimental to the marine ecosystem, which is a major food source here. The accumulation of marine debris on the coastline has reached an alarming rate and has triggered the implementation of sustainable solutions by non-government and government organizations to restore and preserve the economic basket of The Gambia's waterbody. Since its inception in 2018, GOH volunteers have collected 556 tons of trash along the coastline and conducted many activities in communities and schools to strengthen the fight to reduce pollution in The Gambia.
The GOH outreach programs promote education, partnership, and sensitization on the effects of coastal pollution and how it can affect livelihoods. School outreach is one of the most effective activities GOH embarks on to nurture and change the mindsets of young scholars to be environmentally conscious. This will help the next generation make a significant change in their communities. So far, GOH has visited schools in the entire west coast region, and we hope to continue to reach out to more schools in these regions and other regions.
To assess GOH's progress in reducing pollution, an annual coastal survey is conducted along the 80 km coastline to measure the marine debris deposited along the coastline. The data obtained during the survey can serve as a reference to provide well-informed decisions in maintaining sustainable solutions to keep the coastal environment clean.
Gambia Ocean Heroes also hosts an annual beach clean-up at various locations along the Gambian coastline for International Coastal Clean-up Day.
Established in 1986 by Ocean Conservancy, International Coastal Clean-up Day (ICCD) has been celebrated on the third Saturday in September to mobilise communities and volunteers worldwide to clean up the marine environment. In 35 years, more than 17 million volunteers have collected more than 348 million pounds of trash. This year ICCD will be on 17 September 2022 and volunteers in The Gambia will collect trash from Barra to Kartong.