Dutch North Sea coast spotless after Beach Cleanup Tour
Each year in August, the North Sea Foundation teams up with volunteers — including a large number of Boskalis employees — to clean up the entire Dutch North Sea coast over a length of 350 kilometers. With the Boskalis Beach Cleanup Tour the North Sea Foundation seeks to raise social awareness for the growing problem of waste — particularly plastic — in the oceans and on the beaches and the negative impact this has on marine animals and birds.
Boskalis is a committed supporter of this Dutch initiative because of the strong links with what has traditionally been an important part of our natural area of operations: the sea and the beaches. The number of stages was increased in 2014 from 24 to 31.
Three times as much waste collected
Almost 1,500 participants, including many colleagues from Boskalis, together with the team of the North Sea Foundation, cleared a total of more than 20,000 kg of waste from the beach. Not least because there were so many more volunteers than in 2013, almost three times as much trash was collected this year. The participants covered an average of between ten and twelve kilometers a day. A group of Young Boskalis members joined the stage on the Maasvlakte on 8 August.
Throughout the month of August, the North Sea Foundation collected information about the types of plastic that were found, and the amounts in the various categories. The Foundation is untiring in its efforts to convince politicians and businesses to take steps to prevent this form of pollution.
One of the Boskalis Family Days this year was devoted to the Boskalis Beach Cleanup Tour. At about 9:30 on Saturday, 9 August, all 108 of the guests were eagerly waiting at the start of the ninth stage. Despite the strong winds, they had turned up to help collect waste on a part of the stage from Hook of Holland to Monster. They included 42 children aged between 2 and 13, for whom the full stage would have been too demanding, and so ’s Gravenzande was selected as the finish for the Family Day. Boskalis and the North Sea Foundation provided backup for the group, which also included twenty-five volunteers who had answered the call from the Foundation. There was time for a group photo before leaving.
Informative and challenging
The Family Day provided an enjoyable combination of a physical challenge and informative activities.
The North Sea Foundation arranged a presentation about the impact of the plastic soup in the oceans. The children learned in a playful way about what happens if you don’t clear up the waste left behind on the beach. They were welcomed by a captain who told them exciting seamen’s tales and explained how the sea and the beaches get cluttered up. He asked them for help to make the beach and the sea just as clean as before. When they arrived in ’s Gravenzande, the guests were treated to a presentation by a team from SOS Dolfijn, a refuge for dolphins and harbor porpoises, showing how stranded porpoises can be rescued. And there was a relaxed lunch on the beach at the end of the stage.
In late November, Boskalis won the 2014 SponsorRing in the ‘Society’ category for sponsoring the Boskalis Beach Cleanup Tour. Every year, awards are handed out in the form of SponsorRings for the best cases of sponsorship in the Netherlands. The jury report was fulsome in its praise for Boskalis: “Boskalis sponsorship gave the North Sea Foundation a tremendous boost in terms of achieving its objectives. There is a direct link with Boskalis operations and this was a very concrete and relevant project. Employees were involved in a consistent way and the results were significant. Simple but, as a result, very effective!”