Clean Coast Outer Hebrides

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Cover image © Clean Coast Outer Hebrides

Clean Coast Outer Hebrides was set up in 2018 by a group of people concerned about the growing issue of plastic waste, and it’s effect on the environment – specifically the coasts of the Outer Hebrides.

Clean Coast Outer Hebrides are actively supporting, organising, leading, and participating in beach cleaning around the Outer Hebrides.  Their work is conducted in harmony, partnership, and collaboration, with others, including the local council, schools, and community organisations, as well as families and individuals, to best serve the communities they work with.  In 2019 they started working towards achieving Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Community Status.  Clean Coast Outer Hebrides is also a member of the Coastal Communities Network (CCN) and works closely with the Scottish Islands Federation and Highland Environment Forum.

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At its core Clean Coast Outer Hebrides is a group people who care about the coastal environment.  Clean Coast Outer Hebrides formed in 2018 as the continuation and development of claddach, an active and popular environmental group founded by Clean Coast Outer Hebrides Chair Janet Marshall, in 2017.  As the acting environmental spokesperson for the Outer Hebrides we are raising awareness of, and actively pursuing solutions to, the pollution that is present in the coastal regions of the Outer Hebrides, and its potential negative impacts on life.  We are also advocates of the sustainable use of coasts and oceans.  After much dedicated work, on the 16th May, 2019, Clean Coast Outer Hebrides achieved Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation status (SC049307).

CCOH are a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation, with membership open to any person or organisation interested in supporting their aims with a specific interest in the Outer Hebrides.

Immediate goals are to support and organise Beach Cleans around the Outer Hebrides with Schools and community organisations and to work towards achieving Surfers Against Sewage, Plastic Free Community status.

Clean Coast Outer Hebrides is working closely with Surfers Against Sewage and Parley to turn the Outer Hebrides into a Plastic-Free Community.  It’s a 5 stage process, that in the short term is challenging to implement, but one that will provide long term benefits to local businesses and community groups!

To highlight the role that science plays to help address and mitigate issues such as flooding in communities across the Outer Hebrides, Clean Coast Outer Hebrides will host events such as the Big Climate Conversation, at Barvas and Brue Community Centre on the Isle of Lewis.  Clean Coast Outer Hebrides plans to conduct outreach to communities, organizations, science centers, and policy makers who can help follow through on these. recommendations.

In 2020, the year of Coasts and Waters, Clean Coast Outer Hebrides has been selected by Sea-changers to take 12 volunteers to a remote part of the Isle of Lewis coastline to conduct a beach clean in an otherwise inaccessible region that has never been cleaned before. This project will directly benefit the local community by removing large volumes of potentially hazardous rubbish from the local coastal region which positively impacts a broad range of societal factors, as well as raising awareness of the seriousness of marine pollution.

Longer term goals are to involve the community and raise awareness of a range of marine issues, especially to educate and involve younger members of the community, and to work together with community organisations and others to protect the marine environment.