Cyprus Mail

Volunteers clean up Lara beach to help protect turtles

Volunteers clean up Lara beach to help protect turtles

Scores of volunteers aged between five and 60, joined forces on Saturday to clean Lara beach in Akamas, where Loggerhead turtles (Caretta – Caretta) lay their eggs each year.

The majority of the garbage found in Lara beach consisted of food containers, aluminum foil, juice boxes and soft drink cans.

They also collected fishing equipment that was washed up in the beach, and petrol containers dropped off by sea vessels.

The event in Lara, which was the fourth stop this year, was  organised by the youth of the Green Party as part of the ‘Clean-Up the Med’ campaign launched by the Italian organisation  Legambiente.

Legambiente has been coordinating organisations, schools, tourist hotels, locals and institutions in countries of the Mediterranean basin in cleaning up beaches and natural sites. Each year, around 1,500 locations in 21 Mediterranean countries are been cleaned by local groups.

The priorities of the volunteers include the conservation of natural environment of the Akamas peninsula.

According to volunteer and member of the Green Party’s youth branch Maria Kola, the clean up prevents turtles from being entangled in fishing nets or other materials washed up on the beach or left behind by beachgoers. A clean beach also helps baby turtles etter orientate themselves when they emerge from the nest and need to head to the sea..

The hatching of turtle eggs starts mid-August, but there have been cases, they said, where turtles lost their orientation. The beach also hosts a center where guests can get more information about turtles.

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