Gold Coast youth participates in International Coastal Clean Up Day

Young Gold Coast surfer Jay Occhliupo recently joined legendary big wave surfer Shane Dorian and a group of up-and-coming youth surfers from Australia on a remote beach on the Island of Hawai‘i for International Coastal Clean-up Day.

Knowing all too well the importance of the ocean and their fragile marine ecosystems, the group worked tirelessly over a weekend in September to make a positive impact on the beach.

Joined by not-for-profit organisation Sea Cleaners, Shane, his son Jackson Dorian, Jay and the other youth ambassadors commemorated the 30th annual International Coastal Clean-up Day by doing their part to keep the beaches clean. As the Pacific Ocean connects Hawai‘i with Australia and New Zealand, it’s a reminder that our actions in Australia may have an impact on island destinations like Hawai‘i.

September 21 2019 marked the 30th annual International Coastal Clean-up Day, and the participating youth saw first-hand exactly the effects of plastics and microplastics in the ocean.

The clean-up was arranged by not-for-profit organisation Sea Cleaners, along with Billabong Australia who selected the Australian youth ambassadors, each being an up-and-coming surfer with a strong emotional connection to the ocean.

“I feel like it is our responsibility to help leave the beaches cleaner than we found them. We need to take care of Hawai‘i’s beaches for those who are here after us, hopefully hundreds of years from now,” said Shane.

“I think if we help set an example, future generations will be much more aware of how fragile our environment actually is. If enough of us care for our planet we can ensure that it’s in better shape going forward,” he continued.

The project will be filmed and produced into a short documentary by National Geographic, set to be released in October 2019.

In addition to the beach clean-ups, the students will also visit local schools to discuss sustainability and ocean health, as well as taking part in other activities with the local community.

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