India has a coastline of more than 7,500 km. The Indian Ocean is also the only ocean named after a country, India. Throughout history, humans have benefited from the sea and the ocean’s natural wealth. Land-based activities, tourism and fishing have caused plastic litter to reach the coast and ocean through rivers and different waterways in recent years, posing a serious threat to the marine ecosystem. Development efforts will be undertaken to collect scientific data and information on Marine Litter in various matrices, such as coastal waters, sediments, biota, and beaches.
Globally, “International Coastal Clean Up Day” is celebrated on the third Saturday of September, every year.
A cleanliness campaign dubbed “Swachh Sagar, Surakshit Sagar” will take place on India’s entire coastline on 17 September 2022, with the support of the Government of India and other voluntary organizations.
This campaign will include the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Indian Coast Guard, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) along with other social organizations and educational institutions.
This campaign will see massive public participation both physically and virtually. This is mainly, to raise awareness about reducing marine litter, minimal use of plastics, segregation at source and waste management.
It will be the first-of-its-kind and longest running coastal cleanup campaign in the world with the highest number of people participating in it. The participation of the common man will convey the message of “Swachh Sagar, Surakshit Sagar” for the prosperity of not only coastal areas, but also the rest of the country.
This year’s event also coincides with the celebrations of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav on the 75th anniversary of the country’s independence. The coastal cleanup drive will be carried out at 75 beaches across the country. 75 days long campaign will be launched from 3 July 2022 to raise awareness about “Swachh Sagar, Surakshit Sagar” culminating on “International Coastal Cleanup Day” on 17 September 2022.
A mobile app called Eco Mitram has been developed to spread awareness about the campaign. It has been designed to encourage the general public to register voluntarily for the beach cleaning event on 17 September 2022.
This campaign aims to generate a mass behavioural change among the masses by raising awareness about how plastic usage is destroying marine life.