World Ocean Day: 2021

World Ocean Day provides an opportunity for organisations, communities and individuals around the world to unite for our big blue home planet. Falling on June 8 this year, the campaign is asking for us to safeguard the health of our ocean and climate for future generations, together. For World Ocean Day 2021, we’re joining them in committing to protecting at least 30% of our blue planet for a healthy ocean and climate by 2030 (30×30) with Conservation Action Focus

A healthy ocean is a vital element of a healthy planet and stable climate. By protecting 30×30, we’re defending our planet’s life support systems and taking action on the interconnected issues of ocean health, climate and biodiversity.

With COP 26 (the UN’s Climate Change Conference) coming up in November in Glasgow, it’s imperative we take action now to demonstrate the importance and urgency of these issues to our leaders. This year, leaders will be making critical decisions that affect the future of our blue planet; the actions they take, or fail to take, will determine the security of our health and ecosystems for future generations.

What you can do:

> sign the petition

> find an event

> support on social media

> join an ocean or climate action organisation

One ocean-focused organisation that we support and work with closely is The 2 Minute Foundation. A registered charity that is devoted to cleaning up our planet, 2 minutes at a time. The basis of their work is community organising and advocacy campaigns for beach cleans, litter picks and street cleans. Using social media and direct action, they empower, educate and inspire individuals, groups and businesses to make simple changes and take part in simple actions that contribute to the planet’s wellbeing. 

Caithness Beach Cleans – Northern Scotland

Who’s in your community group?

Anyone! Mostly people local to the area, but we also have Marine Biologists and people who are doing degrees and are interested in what and how much we pick up. We also have a lot of people in our group who don’t clean for various reasons but help out in other ways as they feel it is so important. We also have fishermen and farmers involved which I think is important.

How long have you been established and where do you operate?
I started the group on 3rd March 2019, just myself and my husband. I got in touch with a local beachcomber who was delighted to join and she put out the word on her page – that was the start. We are Caithness Beach Cleans but actually we cover any beaches in the Far North of Scotland.

How often do you meet?
Since the start we have only met a few times for celebratory dinners when we’ve reached a milestone amount of plastic removed. Now that can happen within a couple of weeks, so even if covid wasn’t an issue, we would not be having as many celebratory dinners, it is happening too fast! We’re fast approaching 30 tonnes of plastic lifted off the beaches since 2019!


The most well-known of their actions is the #2minutebeachclean, where community groups and individuals spend a quick 2 minutes litter picking at their local beach, and share it on social media to increase awareness and action. 

#2minutebeachclean makes a difference as it: 

  • Removes plastic and other harmful litter that is a danger to wildlife
  • Stops street litter from entering waterways
  • Reduces microplastics getting into fish and sea mammals
  • Improves local areas
  • Encourages you to get outside and be healthy
  • Enables you to take care of the planet
  • Encourages the younger generation to take part

The World Ocean Day’s Youth Initiative includes a Youth Advisory Council that engages with youth and others around the world. They believe that together, youth can create a healthier ocean that sustains us all, no matter where we live. The 2 Minute Foundation is supporting the younger generation with the Two Minute Beach Clean School, an educational platform for learning about our coasts and oceans, featuring lessons on our coastline, the creatures that inhabit it and actions to protect it, 2 minutes at a time.

Seaside Explores – Harwich and Dovercourt, Essex

Who’s in your community group? 
Seaside Explorers has a loyal following of about ten families, but have other families that dip in and out plus visitors to the town that join our sessions.

Why is 2MBC’s work important? 
Where do I start? It’s a genius idea; 2 minutes, we can all do that, sharing and highlighting what they do is becoming a national obsession. I like that we are all connected. They set a good example on the west coast and we need to embrace their ethos here on the east coast. They’re so supportive of anyone doing their bit. I like the way they share and promote others too.

What benefits do you get from taking part in 2MBC? 
It’s good for the soul and the sole! I actually get excited at finding things and inspired to extend the process of cleaning into other areas. I turned the 2MBC into an art competition where the children had to collect over a period of a month and create art with their rubbish, their creativity was amazing. It gets people involved and talking because it’s sociable. People see what you’re doing and it sets an example without being too pushy. I’ve also gone as far to compose a little beach clean song (Yes, I am that batty, forever an overenthusiastic primary school teacher!)

Libby Scafe 

2MBC operates a network of beach clean, litter pick and street clean stations across the UK, to make it easier for people to take action against litter. Each one has a Guardian who is responsible for it’s management and to engage their community. Within the first year of their first beach clean station in Bude, the amount of litter collected was reduced by 61%! There are currently over 800 stations across the UK and Ireland.

Of course, The 2 Minute Foundation’s work doesn’t stop at beach cleans, their groups are committed to cleaning up the UK’s rivers, streets and forests as well.

Pentwyn and Llanederyn Pickers – Wales

Who’s in your community group? 
Our group consists mainly of the older generation from age 50-70’s but during the pandemic we have lent litter picking kits to local families with young children and younger single adults. We hope they will continue to pick up litter as we resume a more normal life. We have around 30 in the group now. We focus on street litter picking.

Why is 2MBC’s work important?
It’s getting the word out about the state of our beaches. I’d never heard of micro plastics until a couple of years ago. To educate us about fishing waste, the fibres the abandoned ropes leave in our seas. They teach us about the entrapment of our birds, sea life and wildlife in discarded nets, bottles, rings, balloon ribbons, plastic bags, plastic pollution and encourage us to do better.

Have you seen a difference in your local area since starting 2MBC?
We have seen a difference in attitude from the locals. At first they looked at us a bit weirdly, said don’t know why you bother, now they say thank you and that we’re very much appreciated.


Find out how you can support The 2 Minute Foundation or find your local station and join the movement today.

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