There was a good turn-out for the event, which attracted locals of all ages including members of the East Cowes Business Association and local councillors. The event was supported by Surfers Against Sewage, the Footprint Trust, Island Roads, the Isle of Wight Council and the CPRE.
The beach clean is a response to the revelation this summer that East Cowes is not currently designated as a bathing beach by the Isle of Wight Council, despite being regularly used by both residents and visitors. This resident-organised beach clean was therefore a step towards meeting the criteria to get East Cowes re-classified as a ‘designated beach’ for bathing, the benefit of which is regular water quality monitoring.
With many reported raw sewage leaks reported in the last few months the hope is that water quality testing will help to provide evidence of such events and support the Environment Agency in their investigations and enforcement action.
Cllr Luisa Hillard, local member for East Cowes and Executive member for Sustainability, Environment and Public Realm said:
“As the Executive member responsible for beaches I am very supportive of what my local residents are trying to achieve. I was happy to attend with my children and they had a great time doing the litter pick. For them it was a treasure hunt – beach combing for rubbish – before enjoying the great playground at the Esplanade.”
Featured Photograph thanks to Allan Marsh.