On Saturday, 14 September, Wärtsilä volunteers organized local clean-up events in Helsinki, Finland and Hamburg, Germany. Bringing together tens of volunteers, the events managed to collect hundreds of kilograms of trash from the waters while increasing awareness of the growing need for ocean protection.
The Helsinki event took place in Kaivopuisto and the Hamburg event in Hamburg-Uhlenhorst. The central locations attracted a lot of interested passers-byes from children to elders, interested to see what the event was about. This is crucial as the purpose of the event is to raise the awareness of people about the condition of our seas.
For several hours’ divers collected trash from the bottom of the sea and were supported by volunteers onshore. Among the surprising finds: one very heavy construction fence post, a table set complete with four chairs, several city bikes and six different tires were found in the waters.
The local Project AWARE activities, initiated by Wärtsilians Mauro Sacchi and Harri Mäkelä five years ago, have engaged over 100 volunteers and have collected more than 1 ton of garbage. The volunteer team has created strong co-operation with the City of Helsinki and the local diving community.
This year, Wärtsilians expanded their clean-up activities to Germany with the first Project AWARE event organized in Hamburg. Building on the successful Hamburg launch, they plan to expand the project to five new locations next year.
“Project AWARE works with scuba divers across the globe to protect underwater environments. Since its establishment in 1989, the community has grown to become a worldwide network of over 180,000 divers. To date, the volunteers have removed worldwide over one million pieces of trash from the ocean”, says Mauro Sacchi. “Project AWARE connects the passion for ocean adventure with the purpose of marine conservation to create lasting change.”
“This was the first time we organised a Project AWARE event in Hamburg and managed to gather an enthusiastic group of volunteers to work both in the water and on land”, explains Wärtsilian Kerstin Krüger . She was in charge of organising the local event together with Kerstin Ernst and Kristin Lange. “This was really an inspiring community event and we are looking forward to continuing our efforts for the environment with similar activities,” Kerstin says on behalf of the whole team.
More information about Project AWARE: https://www.projectaware.org/