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Thousands of volunteers clean up Syria’s 175-km coast
24 August 2005

Damascus, Syria: More than 10,000 volunteers recently helped clean up Syria’s coastline as part of a national campaign to protect the country’s coasts and promote volunteerism.

Organized by the local government and volunteer-involving organizations, the volunteers picked up garbage on the entire Syrian coast – some 175 kilometres – from Lebanon in the south to the Turkish border in the north of the country.

Volunteers also participated in the government’s environmental awareness programme that informs the public about the danger garbage poses to marine life. For example, clear plastic bags floating in the water can be mistaken for jellyfish and eaten by turtles, fish, or dolphins. Fish and other marine animals and birds become entangled in fishing line, nets or six-pack rings. Styrofoam eventually breaks up into small pellets that are mistaken for eggs and eaten.