March 12, 2013, Santiago, Chile – Saturday, March 23, 2013 marks the second year of the campaign “Fuerza Chile! United for Clean Water” (Unidos por Aguas Limpias) for the preservation of Chilean beaches and coastline. Beginning in 2012 with five planned locations in three regions, the campaign grew into a grassroots national effort that included 16 sites in 9 regions. Last year’s volunteer cleanup collected a total of 4,000 kilos of trash (over 500 bags) with the over 600 participants. This collective action successfully cleaned more than 15 miles of Chilean coastline while restoring river mouths, estuaries, and beaches to their naturally beautiful appearance.
A place worth protecting. Southern Chile. Photo: Will Henry
“Fuerza Chile” began as a campaign of the nonprofit organization Save The Waves Coalition (STW) and its partners and collaborators to provide humanitarian relief to the hardest hit communities immediately following the tragic earthquake-?tsunami of February 27, 2010 (27/F).
Led by Save The Waves, in conjunction with the Maule Itata Coast Keeper Program and various zonal coordinators, the campaign “Unidos Por Aguas Limpias” incorporates the efforts of local volunteers and presents an opportunity for direct action, emphasizing community involvement in coastal and marine conservation. Support from 25 local and regional businesses donating trash bags, gloves, water, food, and sunscreen for participating volunteers has furthered the wave of optimism associated with this movement.
Initially, the campaign began with iconic places related to surfing: Pichilemu, Punta de Lobos, Loanco, Curanipe, and Cobquecura. However, as an open activity in which everyone was invited to join and participate, a wave of interested communities, local organizations, surf clubs, schools, youth groups, unions, public and private companies began organizing cleanups around the country, transforming the event into a national effort. The sites participating in 2013 include: Pichilemu, Punta de Lobos, Curanipe, Cobquecura, Loanco, Arica, Iquique, La Serena, Concon, Horcon, Quintero, Iloca, Constitución, Buchupureo, Pichicuy, Santo Domingo, Robinson Crusoe Island, Puerto Saavedra, Puertecillo, Mariscadero, Mehuín and Carelmapu with more anticipated to join in the near future.
Click here to see more information about the campaign:
In addition to being a day of voluntary action, the goal of the campaign is to establish a broad sense of stewardship of fragile ecosystems by communities, government agencies, citizens groups, schools, and private industry. This movement encourages individuals and communities to unite for clean water and protect the beaches, rivers, estuaries, lakes, and creeks of the Chilean Coast. It also provides a forum for communities to voice their concerns related to the health of their local coastal habitats.
Saturday, March 23, will be a day of stewardship of Chilean beaches and coasts nationwide with 22 cleanup sites in 9 regions throughout the country. Over 1,000 volunteers are expected to participate in this symbolic day of community action, education, and initiative to restore the natural beauty of the Chilean rivers, beaches, and coast. The public is invited to participate in this 2nd annual event to help preserve our irreplaceable coastal heritage.
Please call 9-82409852 or email [email protected] if you have questions, would like to support a cleanup near you, or seek further information.
You can follow this event on Facebook by searching Fuerza Chile! Unidos Por Aguas Limpias, on Twitter by following @savethewaves and @vigilantecosta, and on Instragram by searching #unidosporaguaslimpias.
About Save The Waves Coalition
Save the Wave Coalition is an environmental nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the coastal environment, with an emphasis on the surf zone, and educating the public on its value. Working in Chile since 2006, Save The Waves is proud to continue their relationship with the people and communities on the coast.
Save The Waves utilizes many strategies and tactics to help protect and preserve surfing; coastline around the world. Our educational programs help raise awareness about the tremendous environmental, social and economic value of these special places, both to local communities as well as the international community at large.
For more information please visit http://www.savethewaves.org