Bicycles, Marine litter and Education: Follow the Cycl’océane journey!

Next April 30th begins the eco-citizen adventure of Solène and Léo, a couple of Oceanography students. Their project: a long bike trip down the coasts of France, with a particular focus on coastal heritage and the pollution which endangers the marine environment. Solène and Léo will be biking for roughly two months, from Cherbourg to Biarritz. They will also be stopping along the way to raise awareness among Atlantic coast schoolchildren and lead Ocean Initiatives in partnership with Surfrider Foundation's local chapters. You can follow their discoveries and eco-citizen actions on their blog, until they arrive in Biarritz on June 21th.

Monaco conference organizers draw first conclusions

Following the International conference on plastic litter in the Mediterranean Sea held last week in Monaco, the organizers, including Surfrider foundation Europe, are now in the process of assessing its results.What were the main facts brought to light by the various speakers, what possible ways of uniting plastic stakeholders against pollution are being contemplated? After gathering a great number of Tweets to summarize the debates via Storify immediately after the event, Surfrider, foundation Prince Albert 2nd of Monaco, Tara expeditions and the Mava foundation are now introducing more accurate resources for your to read and watch, with view to allowing for further reflexion on what benefits are to be expected from the conference and what efforts remain to be done in relieving the Mediterranean basin from the plastic menace!

A Twitter digest of the Monaco Conference

On the 11th and 11th of March, Surfrider foundation Europe, Foundation Albert 2nd of Monaco, Tara expeditions and the Mava foundation held an international conference on plastic in the Mediterranean Sea at the Monaco Yacht Club. While it was streamed live on its dedicated website, Beyond Plastic Med, the conference received live Twitter coverage as well thanks to hashtag #BeyondPlastic, which also allowed the public to interact with speakers. Surfrider gathered the most important tweets in a Storify compilation, making it possible to go through the gist of the debates and make a first assessment of the conference’s results.

ON THE SMURFIT AFFAIR : A FEW WORDS WITH JEAN-VINCENT, KEEPER OF THE COAST

On the 17th of last February, the Appeal court of Bordeaux (France) passed its sentence on the Smurfit affair. After being acquitted in First Instance in 2013, multinational stationery company Smurfit Kappa was eventually declared guilty of civil and criminal infractions for prejudice caused to the environment. In July 2012, one of the cisterns of Smurfit’s factory site in Biganos (Gironde, France) had broken open and widely poured its content, i.e. blackish substances containing (among others) caustic soda, into the surrounding rivers and the Arcachon Bay. These substances were then driven into the ocean via the Salie Wharf, a nearby sewage pipe which was already suspected of discharging noxious liquids around bathing and surfing waters on a regular basis. The incident caused an uproar among surfers and residents who gathered around local surfer and member of Association Michel d’Agata Jean-Vincent Accoce, who turned to Surfrider Foundation Europe and joined its Keepers of the Coast programme. Following our first interview back in 2012, we thought it interesting to ask him for his opinion now the affair is over (you may find a complete summary of it on the Keepers’ website).