Of the oxygen we breathe, 70% comes from the ocean; the unique source of protein for 1 out of every 4 people is seafood; we use the ocean for relaxing, having fun or sporting; medicines that can cure cancer, cystic fibrosis and other illness have been found through research in the ocean; the ocean helps to reduce the impact of climate change; our economy benefits from fisheries, tourism and transportation conducted in the ocean; life originated in the ocean and up to today, it maintains the most bio-diverse biome on the planet. So, do you need any more reasons to help the ocean?

For the last 13 years CEDO has participated as coordinator of the local Coastal Clean Up (CCU) Project in Rocky Point, each year sending the data collected to The Ocean Conservancy, the organization that has coordinated the CCU all around the world since 1991. The efforts of the Ocean Conservancy has brought 150 countries together with the project’s common goals: learn about the threats to the ocean; clean water ways to reduce the impact of trash; and sensitize people about the trash issue in the ocean, all of which guide the world’s inhabitants to better manage their use of the ocean. CEDO’s participation in organizing the CCU has its own challenges and achievements. In 2013 we were pleased to see more participation among “rockaportenses” (Rocky Point citizens) and local organizations concerned with helping to solve the trash issue.
The Clean Beaches Committee of Rocky Point (Comité de Playas Limpias de Puerto Peñasco) has been key to the success of this event, as every year it organizes a Clean Beaches Campaign as a part of the International Coastal Clean Up Day created by The Ocean Conservancy 27 years ago. So every year CEDO joins in this effort by conducting informative talks in schools to increase youth awareness about the benefits that clean beaches bring to everybody. This year the Committee held a special meeting of tourist service providers during which we invited them to clean the front beach area of their developments. The Clean Beaches Committee and CEDO conducted a total of 5 talks: 2 for the local high schools (COBACH and CETMAR); 1 in a local University (UTPP); 1 for the Tourist Service Providers (Mayan Palace staff explained how others can get the EarthCheck certification); and 1 for 12 elementary schools invited by ZOFEMAT (Federal Terrestrial Maritime Zone), attended by 200 students. This year, to reach our youth audiences by a different method, CEDO gave an informative and sensitization talk, plus we acted out a play entitled “To the Rescue of our Beaches,” written and directed by Susy Mazon, teacher of the Municipal Acting School “Los del Puerto.” The play surprised and amazed kids, letting them take home their desire for change.

CEDO on its own organized a Clean Up along a stretch of the Las Conchas beach, attended by 17 homeowners and tourists, led by CEDO volunteers, Karen Goodridge and Kelleen Farrel. They covered approximately 2.03 miles and picked up 74.6 pounds of garbage, while two other beaches were cleaned in coordination with the Clean Beaches Committee. In Mi Playa, a small beach very close to Las Conchas, findings were surprising as it is a frequently visited beach. Here, led by 3 of CEDO’s staff, a group of 59 people composed mostly of members of ZOFEMAT and CETMAR (Marine Technological Studies Center, a local high school) cleaned an area of 0.46 miles but picked up a total of 363.3 pounds. In El Mirador, our third beach surrounded by houses, hotels and bars, numbers were shocking; 27 participants led by the Clean Beaches Committee Operational Manager and CEDO’s staff, cleaned 1.2 miles, picking up an amazing quantity of 476.19 pounds of trash. Mayan Palace joined us cleaning Miramar beach with 25 participants who picked up 551.15 pounds cleaning a distance of 1.8 miles.

This year Coastal Clean Up was a challenge, but also rewarding because the message got to hundreds of people, touching the heart and consciousness of 122 participants that cleaned a distance of almost 5.57 miles of beach, freeing the ocean from 1,465.303 pounds of trash. This year local people and local organizations joined the movement, but the work is not done yet. CEDO will continue working closely with the Clean Beaches Committee to continue spreading the word and actions to have clean beaches and a healthy ocean. If you want to keep informed about CEDO’s activities and to join to them, “like” us on facebook, visit our web site www.cedointercultural.org or send us an e-mail to info@cedointercultural.org.