On Earth Day 2021, which took place on Thursday, April 22nd, a giant cleanup event was organized on Tetiaroa, Mission Blue Hope Spot, in order to clean the beaches of the atoll to safeguard the marine and terrestrial biodiversity but also to raise public awareness on the dramatic consequences of plastic pollution brought to pour remote islands by sea currents.
On this occasion, ten volunteers from Te mana o te moana and its partners walked the beaches of Tetiaroa motu to collect waste brought by the sea. Accompanied by Dr. Cécile Gaspar, founder of Te mana o te moana and Tumi Brando, granddaughter of Marlon Brando, Te mana o te moana and Saga Tahit volunteers, collected 7m3 of waste around 600kg.
Mostly made out of plastic, wastes are fishing equipment (ropes, buoys, fishing lines, etc.), plastic bottles and bags and everyday objects (slippers, polystyrene, cans, food packaging, insulation plastics, etc.). It should be noted that a lot of waste is embedded in the vegetation, there for many years and are covered with plants. Microplastics are found on the vast majority of beaches, mixed with sand and soil, making their collection difficult.
The beaches of Tetiaroa atoll are a real refuge for many marine species, including green turtles, coconut crabs and many species of seabirds. The observation of this plastic pollution coming from other islands is therefore a real alarm on the health of our islands, located both near and far away.
During this event, educational drawings and drawings were produced by José Marquez “Hotu Painu”, volunteer of the event. These will be used in the foundation’s educational programs for both schools and the general public. The presence of Veroarii, artist who voluntarily performed the song “Te mana o te moana” also allowed to create a friendly atmosphere in music during the week.
Waste collection and treatment was made possible thanks to the donation of bags by Syndicat Fenua Ma, partner of the event and thanks to Transport Maritime Tetiaroa which took care of transporting the collected bags from Tetiaroa to Tahiti. Our teams were able travel to Tetiaroa thanks to the logistical support of. PoeCharter who graciously organized the trip in catamaran. The Brando Hotel and Tetiaroa Society provided accommodation and meals on-site and logistical support during the stay. La Saga Tahiti actively participated in this project with the provision of 2 volunteers for the week.
This Project was funded by SA Frangipani, Owner of Tetiaroa – managed by The Estate of Marlon Brando and Mireille & Richard Bailey.