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    Mere days after our volunteers for Clean up the World removed large amounts of plastics and other non-organic waste from Seven Sisters shoreline its southern section got plastered in thick tarry oil from OS 35. This is very bad news for the area, which is a thriving ecosystem and Marine Reserve. It’s an area where fishing is forbidden and many can enjoy the rich marine life present via the Thinking Green underwater camera situated here.

    While warnings had been issued regarding the potential for such pollution from the OS 35 to still occur, it was nevertheless shocking to witness Seven Sisters heavily tarred in this way.

    The Department for the Environment has set up cleaning operations at the site with NGOs ESG and The Nautilus Project assisting with initial action. Garbed up, the enormity of the task was soon evident, as the thick, black oil on the rocky southern shore was very time consuming to remove and labour intensive. Mopping up with pads was the method advised. The clean up started.

    It was very sad to see the impacts on the species that live in this intertidal zone with volunteers coming across many affected by the oil. ESG understands that a survey is underway by the department.

    The ESG spokesperson said, “We have coordinated annual clean ups here since 2008 clearing historic fly tipping to annual removal of plastics and other waste that arrives by sea. “It’s a difficult area to access and the campaign has made the project possible with support and goodwill from various agencies and individuals. We are proud of the impact we have made to help keep this special area free from harmful waste. We were informed that our clean up last week enabled the current situation to focus on the oil without having first to remove what could have been sack-loads of oil contaminated plastics and other waste.” 

    “However, this oil spill,” they add, “ is shocking, unprecedented in our experience, and way beyond our abilities.  It’s critical that all resources are provided to the frontline teams to remove the damaging oil from this special area, rich in marine life as fast as possible. A final toll of true impacts to the environment should be published. We just hope that no more leaks of this type will recur. It is imperative that the final stages in salvaging the vessel is within sight and that we see an end to the continuous pollution.”

    Contractors are now based at Seven Sisters hoping to make a difference and the Department of the Environment are monitoring the clean up process.

    The ESG and other NGOs will continue to help as much as possible regarding volunteers and providing other support.