In February 2020, Take 3 for the Sea officially partnered with Conflict Islands Conservation Initiative (CICI) to support their powerful conservation work in the Conflict Islands, Papua New Guinea.
As with the rest of the world our work was soon to be disrupted due to the Coronavirus pandemic with volunteers and interns no longer available to travel.
However, in the last few months the situation has eased and with the resumption of some normality post lockdown we are proud to announce a further 12,933 pieces of rubbish have been removed in September, October and November.
Below is an excerpt from CICI’s most recent impact report, detailing the conditions on the islands over the last two months and their work.
The Covid-19 pandemic and resulting travel and social restrictions will ensure that 2020 will be especially memorable.
For us here at the CICI and our partners, we have had to change the way that we operate drastically to fit the new normal. Our clean-up efforts have been affected by availability of staff and tight schedule that we run on. Without incoming volunteers and interns, our conservation and research programs were looking like they would not have been able to continue for this year’s sea turtle nesting season. Thankfully, the resumption of our guests stays after the lock -down has also allowed more staff to return to work. This has enabled us to collect more plastic, especially in October and November.
Our clean-up efforts for September, October and November have been rather sporadic. We have also not hosted any organized events specifically for plastic collection for these three months. Rather, we have collected plastic as part of our general clean-up activity in preparation for our guest stays. This rubbish was stockpiled and audited all at once over two days.
November’s clean-up also produced a remarkable story as a conservation worker stumbled upon a glass bottle containing a hand-written letter, some seashells, and a few grains of rice
The letter, which was simply signed ‘Niki’, led to a social media campaign to find the author with 17-year-old Niki Nie from the United States eventually identified as the person who wrote the message in the bottle.
Niki had been sailing from Vanuatu to the Marshall Islands when she threw the letter overboard, unsure of where it would end up. The bottle floated more than 2,500 kilometres across the Pacific Ocean before being found and opened by ranger Steven Amos as he was sorting through 50 kilograms of rubbish collected from beaches around the Conflict Islands.
An extract from the CICI report read:
One remarkably interesting piece of flotsam that did wash up on our shores on the 26th of November 2020, was a message in a bottle. the bottle was released on January 8th, 2019 and dropped at Latitude 00°00.00 North and Longitude 172°14.273 East by a young American girl Niki and her family as they sailed from Vanuatu to the Marshal Islands. This provides a unique insight as to how far away and how long it takes flotsam to reach us here. The bottle was included in our glass count.
Take 3 is thrilled to be supporting CICI and looks forward to bringing you more updates on the partnership and the impacts of their work in 2021.