The UK's beaches are in desperate need of assistance. Litter levels are wreaking havoc on marine wildlife populations across the UK. Levels of beach litter have doubled over the past two decades, and all these plastic pieces, wrappers, bottles and cans are all having a harmful effect on the habitats and lives of fish, seabirds, whales and dolphins.
To help turn things around, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is asking for people across Britain to help clean up our beaches.
Every year, the MCS runs Beachwatch, its national beach cleaning and litter surveying programme. The programme runs all over the UK through the end of the year. Throughout 2015, volunteers have organised beach cleaning days at different British beaches. The weekend of 27th June, volunteers will be out in Somerset and Merseyside. The week after that, they'll be in Angus and Pembrokeshire.
These events all build toward the Great British Beach Clean, which takes place every September. From 18th to 21st September 2015, volunteers will gather at 48 beaches in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to survey and clean.
2014's Beachwatch was an incredible success for MCS. More than 5,000 MCS volunteers cleaned and surveyed 301 beaches, and found almost 2,500 pieces of litter on each kilometre of beach they cleaned and surveyed.
MCS hopes that volunteers in 2015 are able to surpass that total. If there's coastline near you that you'd like to help MCS care for, visit the MCS Beachwatch events page. With its volunteers' help, the sea's rich wildlife can be restored, fish stocks will be able to grow more plentiful, and our beaches and seawater will be rejuvenated.