At TJBoardhire we are passionate water users and long-time supporters of Surfers Against Sewage (SAS). For many years we have supported the SAS beach cleans and last year when these were expanded to include other waterways with their Summit to Sea campaign, we were keen to bring these events to Chichester Canal, where we offer our paddle board lessons and run our Chichester SUP Club.
Canals and rivers provide the natural habitats of many birds, ducks, fish, insects and other animals. As such, it is vital that our rivers and canals are kept as clear of litter as much as is possible, in order to protect these creatures from becoming trapped in and consuming harmful plastics and other hazardous waste. Additionally, research from the Canal & Rivers Trust indicates that over 80 per cent of the plastics and rubbish found in the oceans, originates from inland waste that passes through the water courses and out to sea. Therefore, by collecting litter at the source, has a huge effect on saving wildlife and ultimately protecting marine life.
The canal is maintained by a large team of volunteers who do an amazing job in keeping the canal clean, tidy and well maintained, whilst also supporting the water Refill scheme, to encourage people to move away from single use plastics. However, with the Canal basin being situated within the busy Chichester City Centre, with many cafes, restaurants and fast food shops, it is inevitable that litter will find its way into the water. Therefore, at TJBoardhire, we encourage all of our paddlers to pick up any rubbish that they see floating in the water, as part of their paddling activity on the canal and any other waterways. This joint approach between the Canal Trust and ourselves, really does make a difference to the amount of rubbish collected from the water, allowing the canal to be as healthy a habitat for its wildlife as possible.
Last year our SAS Canal clean-up was supported by many paddlers on both kayaks and paddleboards, as well as those who wanted to get involved by walking along the canal tow path. The general consensus was that whilst the canal was very clean at first glance and we really had to hunt for any litter, when we looked closely we were able to fill several sacks with a variety of plastic, cans, straws and bottles that were hidden and posed a real threat to the wildlife of the canal. Once the clean-up had been completed, we were faced with the task of tallying up the brands that were found, to support the Surfers Against Sewage Brand Audit. This enables Surfers Against Sewage to map and monitor plastics and signpost where urgent action needs to be taken to reduce plastic pollution.
This spring, we are pleased to again have the support of the Chichester Canal Trust in running another clean up event, to raise awareness and clean up the area. The event will be held on 25th April 2020, starting from Hunston Pontoon at 10am, with paddleboarders and kayaks getting onto the water, whilst walkers are welcome to join in along the tow path. Mid morning we will meet up for a hot drink at the canal cafe, before heading back to Hunston. Please check out the event details on our facebook page, or email us at email@example.com to find out full information details of how to get involved.