Berhampur: Marine Science Department of Berhampur University in coordination with National Centre for Coastal research (NCCR), Chennai and Academy of Technocrats, Berhampur carried out cleanup operation at Rushikulya river mouth as part of International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) 2021 on Saturday.
The cleanup teams collected 163.3 kg of garbage comprising rubber, plastic and glass bottles in 40,703 sq meter area of the Rushikulya river mouth and the sea beach in Ganjam district. Prof Pratap Kumar Mohanty, HOD, Marine Science Department and Chairman of PG Council of Berhampur University led the operation.
The villagers of Gokharkuda, fishermen and the student volunteers participated in the cleaning work from 7 am to 12 noon. The participants were made aware of harmful effects of plastic and non-biodegradable waste on the coast. They were encouraged to segregate the waste before disposal.
Prof Govind J Chakrapani, vice-chancellor of Berhampur University stressed the need for keeping the beach clean to save the sea animals, especially the Olive Ridley turtles who visit Rushikulya rookery every year for mass nesting.
Amlan Nayak, DFO, Berhampur Forest Division highlighted the steps taken by his department for protection of the Olive Ridleys. Dr Dipak Das, Director, Academy of Technocrats, Berhampur spoke on harmful effects of the wastes and the necessity of beach cleanup drive.
Rabindra Kumar Sahu, secretary Rushikulya Turtle Protection Committee, Dr Seshadev Patra, Dr Mukunda Keshari Khadanga, Dr Asim Amitav Patnaik, Dr Pravin Kumar Kar, Balaji Behera, Subhrajit Barik, N Lochan Patro and others coordinated the programme.