MARINE COASTAL LITTER

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ORGANIZED BYSPONSORED BYMARINELITTERPARTNERSCOASTALWATCHTeaching Manual(For Secondary School teachers)SUPPORTED BY海岸清潔跨部門工作小組Organised By:Inter-departmental WorkingGroup on Clean Shorelines

Booklet objectives and related secondary school curriculum modulesBooklet objectives and related schoolcurriculum modulesP.2Chapter 1: Introduction- What is Marine Litter?- Affected Areas- The Sources of Marine Litter- Decomposition Rates of Marine Litter- The Negative Impacts of Marine LitterP.3-8Chapter 2: Marine Litter in Hong Kong- Coastal Watch: a collaborative coastal survey project- Case study: Lap Sap WanP.9-14Chapter 3: Reducing Marine Litter: Possible- Stakeholder Relationship DiagramP.15-16Chapter 4: Recommended Teaching Plans- Teaching Plan 1 : How to be a Coastal Watcher? (Field work)- Teacher Stories- Teaching Plan 2 : Creating a marine litter free city (Role-play)P.17-24The Coastal Watch project conceived as a response to the plastic pellet spill disaster of August2012, Coastal Watch was a collaborative coastal clean-up and survey project which aimed notonly to remove marine litter from Hong Kong’s coastlines, but to survey, organize and classifythe litter in order to provide useful data which will assist those who are developing solutions toHong Kong’s marine litter problem.To sustain the spirit of the Coastal Watch Project, WWF-Hong Kong has developed this educationbooklet. Our hope is that the booklet will help educate future generations about the problem ofmarine litter and, more importantly, present solutions. This booklet provides important informationabout marine litter, scientifically sound data, interactive teaching plans, case studies, diagrams,anecdotes from teachers and useful resources which will equip you with everything you need toknow about marine litter in Hong Kong, its impacts and effects.The ultimate goal of this booklet is to integrate the marine litter issue into the secondary schoolcurriculum, thus raising awareness about the problem among students and motivating themto reduce waste in their daily lives.FormF. 1-3SubjectsAppendix IITeaching Plan 2 teaching materials- Marine Litter Introduction Worksheet- Stakeholder Introduction- Stakeholder Information Pack- Elective modules: Oceans in trouble1 and 2Science- Environmental problems associatedwith the disposal of plastics1- Place and Environment1- Compulsory section: Ecosystems –Conservation of ecosystems- Elective section: Applied Ecologyc. Conservationd. Global issues (recognizing the causesand problems of global issues)- Scientific Investigation1Recommended SourcesP.25-34BiologyF. 4-6CAS (IB)GeographyP.40Integrated SciencePublisher: WWF-Hong KongAuthors: Maggie Kwok, Patrick YeungEditors: Michael Quinn ( English version), Lam Yan Yan (Chinese version)Design: Sea LeungLiberal StudiesAcknowledgement:The Coastal Watch Project is grateful to the Environment and Conservation Fundand the Environmental Campaign Committee for providing essential fundingsupport. We would also like to thank Mr. Richard Garrish and Ms. Smriti Safayafor their sharing and support.11OLEP.35-39F. 1-63Teaching PlanGeographyIntegrated humanitiesAppendix ITeaching Plan 1 Field Work materials- Survey Methodologies- Code of Conduct and Safety Guidelines- Equipment Required for Field Work- Possible Survey Locations- Data Sheets (ecological and marine litter)ModulesService learning1- Compulsory section: Building a SustainableCity – Are environmental conservation andurban development mutually exclusive?2- Modules C6: Balance in Nature(C6.5 The hunt for balance)- focusing on waste management andpollution control2- Module 2: Hong Kong Today(Theme 1: Quality of life)- Module 6: Energy Technology and theEnvironment (Theme 2: The environmentand sustainable development)2Service learningprogrammes1Life-wide learning12

Chapter 1 Introduction- Sylvia Earle,Marine BiologistWhat is Marine Litter?Marine litter can be broadly defined as “all objects that do not naturally occur in themarine and coastal environment but are nevertheless found there”. Marine litter maybe deposited on beaches or coastlines, float on the surface of the sea, float within theocean itself or sink to the seabed.Affected AreasSince marine litter travels, it affects all the oceans of the world. Marine litter is withoutquestion a global problem.So how does marine litter travel?Sadly, every year, millions and millions oftonnes of litter end up in the ocean fromsources all over the planet. Individualpieces of litter are transported by currentsand atmospheric winds, transportingmarine litter thousands of miles from itsoriginal entry point into the ocean. Seasonalweather and large storms can also affectthe movement of litter.3There are many forms of marine litter. These are produced by both land-based andsea-based activities. Data from Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup1indicates that 60 to 80 per cent of marine debris is generated from land-based sources,with the primary sources being littering, dumping in rivers and streams which lead to thesea and industrial mishaps or losses – for example the spillage of plastic resin pelletsduring production, processing or transportation – something which occurred on a majorscale in Hong Kong in 2012. This debris can be blown, swept or washed out to sea.At the same time, 20 to 40 per cent of marine litter originates from sources at sea.The sources of debris include offshore oil and gas rigs or platforms, fishing boats, merchant ships, container ships, ferries and cruise liners. This debris is often dumped overboard or swept or blown off vessels and stationary platforms. Patrick Yeung / WWF-Hong KongOur oceans have systems of currentswhich circulate water around the planet.These are called gyres. These gyres areformed by global wind patterns and theforces created by the rotation of the Earth.The movement of these ocean gyres helpsdrive the “ocean conveyor belt”, a processwhich is essential for regulating nutrientflows throughout the world’s oceans aswell as their temperature and salinity.The Sources of Marine LitterReference1: rtRelease pressPhotos/2010 ICC Report.pdf4

Decomposition Rates ofMarine LitterStyrofoam Cup50 yearsNow that we know roughly what marine litter is, where it comes from and how it movesaround, let us take a look at the decomposition of marine litter. By looking at thedecomposition* rates of different types of litter, we are able to examine how marinelitter accumulates and its long-term impacts.The illustration below gives a generalestimate of how long it takes common marine litter items to decompose2.* Decomposition is the process of breaking down into pieces or simpler elementsby natural processes, chemicals, or some other force 3.Foamed Buoy50 yearsWaxed Cartons3 monthsAluminium Can200 yearsPlastic Grocery Bag50 yearsApple core2 monthsPlywood1-3 yearsNewspaper6 weeksGlass BottleundeterminedPlastic Bottle450 yearsFishing Line600 yearsCigarette Butt1-5 yearsReference2: NOAA (National Oceanic and atmospheric Association)3: Oxford & Merriam-Webster.56

intestinalblockagestarvationdecrease reproduction rate(eg.oysters, zooplankton)affect localecosystemsaffect food chain(bioaccumulation)habitat damage(e.g. coral reefs)deathingestioninternalinjurycostly toeradicateEnvironmentalaffect survival ofmarine speciesinvasive lementsuffocationaffect marineecosystem healthNegative ImpactsofMarine Litterdeathfrom sharpobjects(e.g. brokenglass pieces)Chapter 1Chapter 1The Negative Impacts of Marine Litter Marine litter creates both direct and indirect impacts. The mind map below explores the three ways in which marine litter has a negativeimpact on sustainable ialfrommedical waste(e.g syringes)hygiene andhealth risks fromsanitary waste(e.g. diapers)7visitor safetypotential healthrisksfrom affected seafoodconsumptionreduce coastalaesthetic valuenavigationsafetyreduce tourismvaluemedicalcostsfisheriesrepair costpassengersafety(e.g. damage tovessel’s propeller)affect fishstocksand quality8

Chapter 2Chapter 2Chapter 2Marine Litter in Hong KongFactors influencing Hong Kong’s hydrography duringthe wet and dry seasonsMarine litter may be deposited on beaches or coastlines, float on the surface of the sea, floatwithin the sea or sink to the seabed. It is a persistent problem in Hong Kong, largely becauseour 263 islands and 733 km of coastline are situated in one of the world’s most denselypopulated areas.Hong Kong marine environment profileA recent survey recorded 5,684 marine species living in Hong Kong waters.Although Hong Kong occupies only 0.03 per cent of China’s total marine area,the number of marine species recorded in our waters is approximately 25 percent of the country’s total marine species. The number of marine species perunit area in Hong Kong is a few hundred times higher than many other regionsof the world, underlining the exceptional marine biodiversity of our waters 4.Regrettably, our highly diverse and precious marine ecosystem faces abarrage of threats, and our rich biodiversity is deteriorating drastically andrapidly. Scientists have observed that local waters are actually close to ecosystemcollapse; it goes without saying that this would have disastrous effects on ourmarine biodiversity.As mentioned previously, marine litter is transported by wind and the ocean currents. Thus,in order to determine where marine litter might accumulate, we need to understand thedifferent factors which influence Hong Kong’s hydrography during the wet and dry seasons Patrick Yeung / WWF-Hong Kong Patrick Yeung / WWF-Hong KongA report released by the Environmental Protection Department in 2015 explains the broaderpicture. During the wet season, Hong Kong is influenced by the waters of southeast China,where the south-westerly oceanic flow prevails during the summertime. The influence of theoutflow of the Pearl River and the oceanic flow progressively diminishes towards the east ofthe territory, and as a result the eastern and north-eastern coastlines of Hong Kong are lessaffected by marine litter during the wet season. However during the dry season, Hong Kongis primarily influenced by a north-easterly oceanic flow, meaning that more marine litteraccumulates along the eastern and north-eastern coasts of Hong Kong in the wintermonths5.NMainland ChinaNMainland ChinaPearl River dischargePearl River dischargeHong Kong S.A.RHong Kong S.A.RMacauMacauTidal CurrentsCoastal CurrentsReference4: Environmental Conservation Fund http://www.ecf.gov.hk/en/approved/201127.html9Wet SeasonReference5: Project WATERMAN, University of HONG KONG, 2010.Tidal CurrentsCoastal CurrentsDry Season10

Coastal Watch is the only collaborative conservation project in Hong Kong to concurrently conductmarine litter and ecological surveys on seashores, in coastal waters and underwater. Survey datawas collected between July 2014 and July 2016, and classified into five main types: ecological,land-based macro-litter, land-based micro-litter, coastal floating litter and underwater litter.I. Ecological SurveyAverage number of pieces of litter391.4Coastal floating litter(in every one sq. metre quadrat)(collected every two hours)(along each 100 metre ystyrene - fragmentsPlastic packaging (wrappers) and film - fragmentsPlastic packaging (wrappers) and filmDrink bottles 1L and lessPolystyrene - food boxes & cupsPolystyrene boxesFast food containers, lids & cupsPlastic shopping bagsThin rope, string, ribbon piecesStraws & stirrersLand-basedmicro-debrisCoastal floating .3%Others5.2%5.4%3.3%7.7%Underwater litterDue to their light weight and neutral or positive buoyancy, many disposable plastic litter types floats andspread widely across the seaUnderwater litterRank12345678910CategoriesFishing net piecesPlastic packaging (wrappers) and film fragmentsMetal cans (food or drink), lidsFishing items (floats, lures, buoys, fishing line)Ceramics piecesPlastic fragments - hardPlastic packaging (wrappers) and filmMetal otherGlass fragmentsDrink bottles 1L and lessAbandoned fishing nets can keep on tangling marinelives, causing injury and even death to them. Patrick Yeung / WWF-Hong KongLand-basedmacro-debrisBroken glass fragments spread on beaches causepotential harm to visitorsPolystyrene fish boxes generated from the fishing industry.They can easily break into small pieces and become verydifficult to be removed from the environment.Underwater litter1. Composition of Marine Litter11Coastal floating litterDisposable plastic litter, e.g. food boxes, bottles, arecommonly accumulated in coastal areas. Patrick Yeung / WWF-Hong KongAverage numberof piecesLand-basedmicro-debrisCategoriesGlass fragmentsPolystyrene - fragmentsPlastic packaging (wrappers) and film - fragmentsPolystyrene - food boxes & cupsPlastic fragments - hardDrink bottle capsThin rope, string, ribbon piecesStraws & stirrersPlastic packaging (wrappers) and filmMiscellaneous plastic items Tiffany Zau / WWF-Hong Kong Patrick Yeung / WWF-Hong Kong Patrick Yeung / WWF-Hong KongHigh diversity of coral is recorded in HongKong, supporting large variety of marine life.II. Marine Litter Survey(in each five-metre belt transect)Rank12345678910Colorful snails found at intertidal area duringthe low tide.Horseshoe crabs spend their early age onsandy beach and mudflat.Land-basedmacro-debrisLand-based macro-debris Tiffany Zau / WWF-Hong Kong Patrick Yeung / WWF-Hong Kong Patrick Yeung / WWF-Hong KongMangrove trees provide shelter and nutrient toother marine organisms in the intertidal habitats.Plastic item Tiffany Zau / WWF-Hong Kong Average number of species recorded in land-based habitats:Mangroves:29Mudflats:36Rocky shores:26Sandy beaches:12 Coral coverage at the underwater sites: 6%2. Top Ten Categories of LitterChapter 2Key: Tiffany Zau / WWF-Hong KongChapter 2Coastal Watch: a collaborative coastal survey projectMismanaged litter disposal may end up in the seaand cause persisting impact to the environment.12

Chapter 2Chapter 2Lap Sap Wan – Where did the pristine pebble beach go?As the containers smashed onto various islands and ripped open, sacks filled with thepolypropylene floated free and burst, releasing billions of pellets less than one cm in size.These then washed up onto Hong Kong’s coastlines, and piles resembling snowdriftsbegan forming on beaches. The spill took many weeks to clean up, and pellets are stillpresent to this day. While the immediate pellet spill crisis has now passed, marine debrisremains a constant presence on Hong Kong’s beaches and coastlines.Located in southeast Hong Kong Island nearShek O, Lap Sap Wan is a remote pebblebeach that was basically unknown untilrecently. Despite its natural coastal habitatand close proximity to the Cape D’AguilarMarine Reserve, an enormous amount ofmarine litter is flung and washed into this bayby the waves and tides every day. Theaccumulated litter has turned this once-pristinepebble beach into an unsightly dumping site. Its serious litter problem was first documented20 years ago when it was given the name Lap Sap Wan (Rubbish Bay).In late April 2015, Coastal Watch led a group of volunteers and media groups to LapSap Wan to conduct a marine litter survey. The hope was that we would learn moreabout accumulated marine litter and create substantial public awareness across HongKong. The survey estimated the total weight of marine litter present in the bay, whichhas a frontage of only 140m, at a staggering 185 tonnes.Reacting to this discovery and the resulting media coverage, the Hong Kong governmentacted promptly and after three months of hard work, the macro-marine litter was finallycleared from the bay. A whopping 8,290 bags of marine litter were removed and thepebble beach was visible once again. However, the sea is relentless; as is, it seemshumankind’s ability to produce marine litter. The sea continues to wash marine litter intothis beautiful bay. Another visit at the end of January 2016 showed that the beach hasbegun to be covered by marine debris once again. Will this beautiful pebble beach everreturn to its natural state?The plastic pellet spill disaster of August 2012marked a watershed moment for Hong Kong’s marineenvironment. On the night of 23 July 2012, a severetyphoon swept by south China. Six containers loadedwith 150 tonnes of polypropylene pellets – the rawmaterial used to make thousands of kinds of plasticproducts – fell off a vessel in rough seas east of theNinepin Islands. Gary Stokes2012 Plastic pellet disasterCoastal Watch project backgroundJuly 2015 Carl Tang / WWF-Hong Kong13April 2015 WWF-Hong Kong*Citizen science project: A project which involves public participation and collaboration in scientificresearch to increase scientific knowledge. Through citizen science, people can share and contribute to datamonitoring and collection projects, enabling a greater amount and a wider spread of data to be captured 6.SOURCE 6: National Geographic ia/citizen-science/1995 Andy Ching / WWF-Hong Kong B.Morton Patrick Yeung / WWF-Hong KongThe ultimate objectives of Coastal Watch were todevelop a long-term solution to the marine litter problem,educate a broad segment of the Hong Kong publicabout our marine environment and then inspire andmobilize these people to take positive action to shapethe future of our waters. We chose six marine habitatsfor this project: mangroves, mudflats, sandy shores,rocky shores, coral communities and coastal waterareas. By coming to understand the biodiversity ofthese areas and the way in which they are impacted bythe marine litter problem, Coastal Watch aimed toformulate practical solutions to conserve our marineenvironment. WWF-Hong KongThe spirit of the Coastal Watch project involves bringingforward the momentum created in the wake of the plasticpellet spill which will encourage every Hongkonger tocherish our oceans and keep them clean. Developed byWWF and six strategic partner organizations, CoastalWatch was a two year citizen science project*which used scientifically-sound methodologies to study,protect and provide year-round monitoring of HongKong’s ecologically valuable coastal habitats.January 201614

The chart below lists several stakeholders and their involvement in possiblesolutions to the marine litter issue.Product designers- Work closely with companies to designproducts using environmentally-friendly orupcycled materials- Design products that reduce the generalpublic’s usage of single-use items- Invent technology which will aid marinelitter clean-up activitiesCorporations and Retailers- Implement better product stewardshipScientists- Invent and improve environmentally-friendlymaterials- Perform further research on the sources andimpacts of marine litter- Invent technology which will aid marine litterclean-up activitiesMedia- Broadcast marine litter-related news stories- Promote green habitsGeneral public- Volunteer for clean-up events and other marine litter-related projects- Support related campaigns- Practice the “3Rs” (reduce, reuse, recycle) in daily life- Follow “leave no trace” principles when outdoors- Support marine-friendly businesses- Stop using single-use disposable plastic items- Report marine litter incidents to Trailwatch or to the government hotline1823Definitions :Corporate social responsibility– The ways in which companies integrate environmental and social concerns into their businessoperations and in their interaction with relevantgroups on a voluntary basis 7.Reference 7: CSR Guide for SMEs in Hong Kong.15Chapter 3Chapter 3Chapter 3Reducing Marine Litter: PossibleEnvironmental groups- Educate and raise the awareness levels

Dec 17, 2016 · litter accumulates and its long-term impacts.The illustration below gives a general estimate of how long it takes common marine litter items to decompose 2 . * Decomposition is the

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