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Ocean Plastic Pollution: Be part of the solution

Helderberg Ocean Awareness Movement (HOAM) is a group of concerned locals from the Helderberg region who plan to eliminate litter and give our beach back to nature. Gram Plastic Free Grocer is proud to have joined them on several clean-ups.

Since late 2018 Helderberg Ocean Awareness Movement has been at the forefront of conservation and clean-up efforts in the Helderberg area.

They have positioned themselves as a strong force of green guardians consistently giving attention to Strand Beach, the Lourensriver, surrounding tributaries, parks, open fields and townships.

Their efforts are not just limited to clean-up operations, but also include educational programmes for kids, partnerships with local organisations, law enforcement agencies and government departments, NPOs, as well as persistent drives to create environmental awareness. They have joined clean-ups hosted by others, held hands with drives for animal rescues and supported charities along the way.

Lisa Starr, founder of Helderberg Ocean Awareness Movement, at a beach clean-up.

When it comes to educational programmes, HOAM hosts groups at the beach, where they are taught and shown first-hand how to keep the environment healthy.

They also visit schools that are not able to attend sessions on the beach.

"We’ve been to Smartie Town in Macassar recently and also hosted Protea Primary school, who travelled all the way from Bonteheuwel for an educational beach clean-up," Lisa explained.

"This was such a special morning and the children not only learnt and cleaned the beach but connected to nature too. The latter is very important as only when you embrace and understand will you respect."

A priority for HOAM has always been the Marine Protected Area along Strand beach, where transgressions occur around the clock, made up mostly of dogs running unleashed and fisherman casting where they should not.

"We are extremely privileged to have this marine protected area where 39 species of birds call home. Scientific research has also proven that marine life is at home in these areas and the environment is thriving. We implore our community to join us to preserve it."

Cooperation with local law enforcement and the metro in enforcing by-laws is a giant leap in conservation efforts. They have recently been issuing R1 500 fines for breaking the by-law.

We are continually learning and educating ourselves on all the dynamics of a healthy environment and this is the information we share with the community to encourage awareness. I just hope that my passion rubs off onto other people.” - Lisa Starr

Get in contact with Helderberg Oceans Awareness


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