Corona Save The Beach art contest update

The contest brief is based around beach conservation and is helping to raise awareness of beach conservation and littering. The entries have been pouring in, with some incredibly inspiring photographs, painting and digital art. Below are some of the recent entries. Click the thumbnails to view full size on Deviant Art.

The Corona Save The Beach campaign is a pioneer environmental initiative to identify, clean up and preserve the beaches of Europe and educate the public about the importance of keeping beaches clean. The campaign is supported by the Foundation for Environmental Education and it’s Blue Flag programme, the quality seal awarded each year to beaches and marinas meeting strict environmental criteria. As well as running this art contest, members of the public were invited to send in their photographs or videos of dirty beaches they visit. In July 2009, Capocotta, a beach on the Roman coast, was the beach chosen by a public vote to be cleaned. Capocotta was shortlisted along with other areas including Puertito de Guimar in Tenerife, Spain, Heraclion in Greece and a beach in Norfolk, UK.

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Artists helping Corona Save The Beach

Corona Save The Beach have just launched an art competition on Deviant Art – inviting artists to create work on the theme of beach conservation, litter, pollution and green living. The winning works will be put on display on the Save The Beach website mid September.

Until then you can find out more on Deviant Art


Interested in entering? Here’s the Artists Brief..

Artists are invited to enter artwork in any medium on the theme of beach conservation,litter and pollution. This could be sculptural – created from actual litter and debris you find at the beach, and then photographed (great examples of environmental beach litter art by artist Jane Rose can be seen here: [link]) or even create sand sculptures!
If you don’t live near a beach, you can submit photography, digital pieces, photo manipulations or traditional art depicting the plight of our beaches and the need to conserve them. You can also include text if you wish, or add Corona Save The Beach banners

More about the Project..

The Corona Save The Beach campaign is a pioneer environmental initiative to identify, clean up and preserve the beaches of Europe and educate the public about the importance of keeping beaches clean. The campaign is supported by the Foundation for Environmental Education and it’s Blue Flag programme, the quality seal awarded each year to beaches and marinas meeting strict environmental criteria. As well as running this art contest, members of the public were invited to send in their photographs or videos of dirty beaches they visit. In July 2009, Capocotta, a beach on the Roman coast, was the beach chosen by a public vote to be cleaned. Capocotta was shortlisted along with other areas including Puertito de Guimar in Tenerife, Spain, Heraclion in Greece and a beach in Norfolk, UK.
Start preparing your entries for the 2010 Corona Save the Beach campaign – get behind your local beach and it may be the winning beach to be “saved” by Corona.

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Fingal’s beach litter shame


By Ciaran MCKEON

Wednesday June 10 2009

SKERRIES Tidy Towns Committee was forced to take the initiative and clean up their beach themselves because the council could not afford to hire a beach clean up crew. The beautiful sunshine over the bank holiday weekend saw locals and tourists flocking to the seaside to bask in the heat. With so many people using the beach there was bound to be rubbish but with no litter cleanup crews recruited this year much of it was left to be swept out to sea and strewn along the shore. Meave McGann of Skerries Tidy Towns said that bins on the beach were overflowing and that locals decided to pick up the rubbish themselves. Ms McGann said that the Government’s underfunding of local councils was to blame.

Skerries Beach left with rubbish strewn all over
it following the busy bank holiday weekend.

‘ The council should be able to employ people to do this job. They can’t run their services unless the Government give them the money they need to do so.

‘In this climate we’ll be looking towards tourism to help us out. The Government should realise that all coastal towns, not just Skerries, could be an asset.’

In Portmarnock there was not a single bin on the beach and the two at the main entrance were soon overflowing.

County councillor and long-time beach advocate, Peter Coyle, said that the council could not ignore the beaches.

‘All beach maintenance cannot be dropped instantaneously. Fingal County Council is losing a lot of credibility at the moment. Portmarnock Beach is the only beach in Fingal that can get a Blue Flag in 2010. It looks like that it will fail because of the lack of litter control.’

Beach sweeping machinery did return to Portmarnock on Tuesday and a crew was working on the grass but unlike last year this will not be a regular service. Ms McGann also urged beach-goers to take everything they can back home with them.

She said that the Tidy Towns committee was also launching a campaign to encourage walkers to pick up litter as they enter and leave the beach.

Fingal’s beaches were already dealt a heavy blow earlier this month when the Environmental Protection Agency reported that four beaches failed the minimum standards for water quality.

– Ciaran MCKEON

Read the original article from the Fingal Independant

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Britain’s beaches fail European hygiene standards

Britain’s beaches fail European hygiene standards
An increasing number of popular swimming spots in the UK have failed to meet European hygiene standards including parts of Lake Windemere, the chic Cornish resort of Rock in Cornwall and Sandgate in Kent.

By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent
Published: 6:03PM BST 12 Jun 2009
Britain’s beaches fail European hygiene standards
Rock beach in Cornwall which has failed European hygiene standards Photo: MARTIN POPE

The vast majority of the nation’s favourite coastal areas and inland lakes or rivers meet strict EU bathing water cleanliness standards.

However the heavy rains last summer means that more sewage, litter and chemical run-off from farms was found in the 608 swimming spots assessed last year. Some 24 coastal areas and Millerground Landings in Lake Windermere failed to meet the minimum standard, which means they may not be safe to swim in at certain times of year or in particular areas. This is a rise from the 20 beaches that failed the test in 2007.

The EU does not consider the bathing areas dirty enough to close them down but leaves it up to the local authority or Environment Agency to test the water and advise the public if it is safe to swim.

Most of the UK bathing areas needing improvement were in the South West – Devon and Cornwall – and in Scotland including Portobello in Edinburgh and beaches around Plymouth.

Earlier in the year the Marine Conservation Society recommended just 370 out of 775 of the UK’s most popular bathing beaches in its annual Good Beach Guide, a fall of 17 per cent on last year and the lowest number since 2002.

Keep Britain Tidy have also reported the number of beaches awarded a Blue Flag for overall cleanliness this year fell by 11 to 71 – although that is still an improvement from 2002 when just 45 made the grade.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it is tackling the problem of pollution from sewers by tightening standards to stop leaks. The problem of run off from farms is being dealt with by awarding grants to build fences between livestock and watercourses and controlling use of chemicals.

“We’re working to improve sewerage systems and are aware of the effect heavy rain and flooding can have on our coastal bathing waters” said a spokesman.

The EU carried out tests at more than 21,000 bathing spots around 27 countries last year. The vast majority in favourite holiday spots like Cyprus, France and Spain met EU hygiene requirements with 96 per cent of the total coastal bathing areas and 92 per cent of bathing sites in rivers and lakes up to standard.

UK beaches and inland swimming spots failing to meet minimum EU clean water standards in 2008 were:

Northern Ireland:



Machrihanish (Argyll and Bute),

Saltcoats/Ardrossan (North Ayrshire)

Sandyhills (Dumfries and Galloway)

Portobello Central (Edinburgh)

Rosehearty (Aberdeenshire),

Cruden Bay (Aberdeenshire)




South West:

Seaton (Cornwall)

East Looe (Cornwall)

Rock (Cornwall)

Readymoney (Cornwall)

Porthluney (Cornwall)

Plymouth Hoe East (Devon)

Plymouth Hoe West (Devon)

Exmouth (Devon)

Instow (Devon)

Coombe Martin (Devon)


Allonby (Cumbria)

St Bees (Cumbria)

Aldingham (Cumbria)

Windermere, Millerground landings (Cumbria)

Yorkshire and Humberside:

Staithes (North Yorkshire)

South East:

Sandgate (Kent).

Read the original article from the here


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Shocking beach litter in Naples

As featured on Corona Save the Beach


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What to do when a dirty beach ruins your holiday?

For most of us, our summer holiday is a much anticipated event. We save up, book a long time in advance, ask the boss for time off work, buy new clothes – in short – it is a big deal!

What happens then, when you reach your destination or resort, head for the beach, only to discover it’s nothing like the brochure promised. Those turquoise seas and white beaches are replaced by litter,debris and runaway construction work. Filthy streams or sewage pipes running down into the sea; which turns out to be a grey foamy mess of floating plastic bags or worse? We don’t always have transport on holiday so quite often we’re stuck with what’s within walking distance of where we’re staying.

Many of us are rightly very upset and disappointed by this situation. In the UK, we have a certain ‘watchdog’ mentality of recording the probelms we encounter on holiday. This is great if something gets done about it, but often we just receive an apology from the holiday company, perhaps a partial refund if we’re lucky. But the beach? Nothing gets done.

What to do about it?

  • Firstly do bear in mind that in most cases the hotel you are staying at will not be directly responsible for the beaches nearby (unless it’s their own private beach). However if the beaches are advertised in their brochures as part of the holifay and include pictures which are misrepresentative, then it’s my opinion that you have a right to complain.
  • While you’re still away , complain to the tour company representative in the resort straight away. The rep should provide you with a customer complaint form.
  • Take photographs or video footage to back you up
  • Back home, there are plenty of travel community sites like where you can register and write reviews of the places you’ve visited. This lets others know what to expect of the same desitinations.
  • Keep writing those letters of complaint, to both the agent you booked with and also directly to the hotel. If they don’t know they won’t be able to fix it! Don’t assume someone else will make a complaint, or leave it weeks and weeks before you get round it. Anythng over 28 days is too long
  • If you can find out who the local council is that is charge of the beach, write to them too.

Corona Save The Beach – Getting something done

This summer, one of the best ways of getting something done about dirty beaches on holiday is to send in your photo or video evidence to Corona Save The Beach

Corona have pledged to clean up and protect the worst beaches in Europe and the UK – and keep them that way. Visitors to the website can vote on which beaches they consider to be in most need of help. This is a sure fire way of getting attention where it’s needed.

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Sea pollution explained

Sewage – why is it a problem?

Sewage is broadly a combination of domestic and industrial liquid effluent and suspended solids. It consists of organic faecal matter, bacteria, viruses, fats, chemicals, heavy metals, debris and nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous.
Untreated sewage is primarily organic in nature and subject to bacterial decay. In low concentrations it can be beneficial to the marine ecosystem. However, discharged in massive quantities it causes ecological problems such as eutrophication (loss of oxygen from the water) and direct physical impacts to marine life such as poisoning, smothering, and the disruption of growth, respiration, reproduction, and the immune system.

Sewage – human health risks

Raw sewage is full of pathogenic bacteria and viruses. Numerous studies have shown that swimming in sewage contaminated water can lead to gastroenteritis, acute febrile respiratory illness and ear, nose and throat infections. Hepatitis A and typhoid are also possible, although the scientific evidence for these associations is less robust.
Shellfish grown in sewage contaminated waters can cause food poisoning because filter feeding animals such as mussels and oysters concentrate sewage relate pathogens and toxins in their tissues as they feed.
The water & sewerage industry

The UK population uses around 17.5 million tonnes of water per day, and disposes of 11 million tonnes of wet sewage, every day.
To do this the industry has over 380,000 km of sewers, 11,000 discharges from sewage treatment works and 27,000 intermittent discharges (storm outlets and combined sewer overflows). The water industry therefore has the single greatest impact on marine and coastal pollution and requires careful environmental regulation.
The 11 water and sewerage companies and the 13 water supply companies run the water industry. The Environment Agency in England and Wales, and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the Department of Environment Northern Ireland are the environmental regulators. The industry is overseen in England and Wales by the Government’s Water Services Regulatory Authority (Ofwat), in Scotland by the Water Industry Commission, and in Northern Ireland by the Utility Regulator.

Sewage – investment to clean-up the coast

The 1991 European Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (91/271/EEC) has been the principle legislative driver for quality improvements to sewage treatment in the UK. Since privatisation in 1989, industry has invested £70bn in water and sewerage infrastructure in England and Wales – about twice the annual average capital investment of 1980s. About £10 billion of this investment has gone toward improvements to point source sewage discharge to the coast.

In September 1998, the UK Government announced a seven year improvement plan to provide secondary sewage treatment as a minimum standard at all treatment works serving communities greater than 2,000 people in England and Wales. This target has now almost been met.

Public water and sewerage services in Scotland are delivered by Scottish Water, a publicly owned company set up by the Scottish Executive in 2002. The Quality & Standards III capital investment programme will spend £2.15 billion between 2006 and 2010.

In Northern Ireland, water and sewerage services are delivered by the Northern Ireland Water Service (NIWS) but province is in dire need of investment. In December 2005, a report issued by the UK Department of the Environment’s Northern Ireland Environment and Heritage Service concluded that NIWS was responsible for 23.5% of all water pollution incidents during the previous year. NIWS has now introduced a £420 million in wastewater treatment works and sewer network upgrades to improve this situation.

Sewage – what’s the situation now?

Almost all communities over 2000 population equivalent on the UK mainland, except notably Brighton, are now served by secondary sewage treatment plants, or better.

According to data collected for MCS’ Good Beach Guide, there remain 62 outfalls continously discharging raw, primary or preliminary treated sewage. Almost half (27) of these are in Scotland.

The Environment Agency currently estimates that between 4% and 10% of UK designated bathing beaches will fail the new minimum bathing water standard. Measures to achieve full compliance will largely require reducing the impact of diffuse pollution and intermittent storm sewage discharges.

The UK Government estimates that the cost of achieving of compliance with new European bathing water standards will be £200 million per year for the next 25 years.
Intermittent sewage discharge (storm outfalls & combined sewer overflows)

The UK has a network of 22,000 combined sewer overflows (CSO) which discharge storm water mixed with raw sewage to rivers and the sea when it rains. They are intended as a failsafe mechanim for combined sewer systems (sewers which collect domestic sewage and storm water in same system) by discharging the contents of flooded sewers away from roads and houses.

The spill frequency of CSOs is based on dry weather flow for the sewer system and is not directly related to the receiving water’s capacity to assimilate the discharge. CSOs may therefore discharge in circumstances ranging from light to heavy rain fall
(and occasionally dry weather) and spill frequency can vary from very low to several hundred times per year.

Discharge consents for CSOs, issued under the Water Resources Act (1990) and regulations introduced to transpose the European Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive, generally require that a CSO is maintained in a fit operating state and that discharges do not cause an environmental nuisance to users of the receiving waters.

CSOs near sites regarded as ‘sensitive’ under the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive ie: designated bathing sites and shellfish waters, are generally limited to a spill frequency of between three times per year and once every five years, depending where the CSO is sited.

An extensive programme is underway throughout the United Kingdom to upgrade 2,200 unsatisfactory CSOs. Unfortunately, the UK CSO network has never been properly mapped, and finding unmapped CSOs is proving a significant problem in some areas. In the period 2005-10 water companies have concentrated on modifying 1500 CSOs to improve the aesthetic appearance (bottles, rags, cotton buds etc) of floodwater.
Intermittent sewage discharge – what’s the situation now?

The European Commission states that discharges of urban waste water from CSOs cause pollution, threatens the survival of fish and poses human health risks.

Increased annual rainfall and severe storm events, driven by climate change, will increase the environmental impact of CSOs unless measures are introduced to limit spill frequency and increase CSO storm water storage capacity.

Bathing water quality has declined from a high in 2006. CSOs and storm run-off from city streets and farmland are largely to blame. Almost 50% of all tested bathing sites in the UK still offer an unacceptable health risk to swimmers.

Diffuse pollution:

Diffuse pollution is a catch-all term to describe non-point source pollution to rivers and the sea. Diffuse pollution is sub-categorised into a) agricultural b) urban, c) atmospheric.

Types of diffuse pollution range from nutrients (largely nitrate and phosphate based fertilisers) and livestock waste washed off farmland to oil, petro chemicals and endocrine disrupting chemicals flushed from urban areas into storm drains, water courses and the sea. Atmospheric input is principally air borne nitrogen oxides from burnt fossil fuels which can contribute significantly to the nitrate content of the oceans.

The UK Government estimates that almost two million tonnes of nutrients are discharged into UK coastal waters each year and as discharges from point sources (pipes) have improved in quality so diffuse pollution has become relatively more problematic.

River basin characterisation studies for England and Wales conducted by the Environment Agency under implementation work for the Water Framework Directive (WFD) suggest that 25% of estuaries and 24% of coastal waters are at risk of failing the new environmental standard of Good Ecological Status because of diffuse pollution.
Diffuse pollution – what’s the situation now?

The Environment Agency for England and Wales (2007) states that over a third of estuaries and a fifth of coastal waters are at risk from diffuse pollution. The agency says that this represents a widespread and long-term threat to the ecology of these waters.

The UN Global Environment Report (2007) states that pollution from diffuse land sources, particularly agriculture and urban run-off, needs urgent action by the world’s governments.

Nitrate and phosphate discharges from point sources to rivers and the sea have reduced by 35% since 1990, but nitrate input from rivers to the sea has not fallen.

10 estuaries in England, two in Wales and one in Scotland are now recognised as eutrophic, or likely to become so, because of diffuse pollution. Eutrophic effects include toxic algal blooms, green macro algae such as Enteromorpha smothering intertidal habitats, ecological changes in littoral and sub-littoral habitats and oxygen starvation for sedentary benthic organisms.

Nitrate and phosphate concentrations around the UK coast have not changed since 1985. Nutrient concentrations are high compared to international criteria in some estuaries and coastal waters off southern England and the eastern Irish sea. There has also been a 90% increase in phytoplankton biomass since the mid 1980’s.

Offshore waters are believed not to be affected.

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