Wadden Sea cleanup plan could pull 800,000 kg of waste from water
Environmental groups and nature organizations will collect 800,000 kilograms of waste from the North Sea and the Wadden Sea over the next three years under a plan called CleanUpXL. They find it unacceptable that so much junk remains at the bottom of the largest nature reserve in the Netherlands, the North Sea, and in the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site.
The waste that will be recovered will be disposed of as sustainably as possible, according to the initiators of CleanUpXL.
The reason for CleanUpXL is the ecological disaster caused by the MSC Zoe ship between New Year's Day and January 2, 2019. The ship lost 342 fully loaded containers in the overnight period. The coast of the Wadden Sea has been partially cleaned up. Sonar research has shown that a great deal of cargo from the MSC Zoe is still on the seabed in an area of 3,000 square kilometers north of the Wadden Islands. There is also a great deal of other garbage, CleanUpXL said.
Marine animals, coastal areas, salt marshes and dunes will be threatened for a long time by plastic residue if this is not cleaned up. The unique nature will then be lost, according to the organizations.
Recovery companies will remove bulky waste from the seabed once per year. Divers will clean smaller items underwater, and make videos of their progress. Later on, it will be possible to see how much waste has already been disposed of at various places in the Wadden area. The participating organizations will also organize clean-up campaigns for volunteers.
Reporting by ANP.