Updated on January 22, 2021
The clean-up of the Crapolla Cove
The past few weeks brought us an exceptional amount of wind and rain, forcing us to stay and work from home up until last week. On Monday, January 11th, we finally got blessed with a clear sky and we decided to use the opportunity to get out of the house and do something meaningful. We had a relaxing hike to the beautiful Crapolla where we organized a beach clean-up and had one of the most rewarding teamwork experiences in a long time.
Crapolla Cove is a spectacular place, a real hidden gem. The crystal-clear turquoise water and tremendous scenery from the hike going down (650 steps, to be exact) are worth the effort, and it embodies what hiking is all about – magnificent views, tons of fresh air and a good workout. Before reaching the beach, you can stop to visit the small Chapel of San Pietro and appreciate some columns and marble bases of the ancient buildings next to it. Whereas next to the beach you can see monazeni – ancient fisherman shelters, dating back to Roman times – that are engraved into the rocks and some other important Roman structures, such as cistern remains from which the freshwater was taken.
Upon arrival, we were shocked how much trash was washed out on such a small beach. Most of it was plastic, so much of it, as well as shoes, glass, and an enormous amount of polystyrene. Surprisingly, we didn’t find any face masks that were creating a big impact on our environment last year. Looking closer into the sand we could also find many tiny pieces of plastic, that most of the time are hard to spot and collect. Honestly, this was upsetting. However, our team made a great job and a small but significant difference. We also tried to recycle rubbish straight away while collecting and putting it into appropriate bags. The next day half of our team returned to Crapolla by boat to collect them.
It has always been a challenge to maintain the beach clean because currents constantly keep bringing rubbish to the shore. During summer the municipality organizes weekly beach clean-ups, whereas in winters people from nearby places do it themselves but there are many obstacles, such as storms, that often get in the way. Also, the beach is surrounded by steep slopes that make it incredibly difficult to bring the collected trash up to the village. That said, it often gets burned on the spot because people don’t know who should be contacted to take the rubbish away. Toxic gases and chemicals emitted by burning plastic materials, such as dioxins and furans, have a significant impact on the atmosphere as well as human health. Dioxins attach to dust particles and they can be carried long distances by the wind. During the rain, they usually get brought back to the sea, causing toxic pollution.
Every place we have been, everywhere we have swum – full of plastic, and that’s the harsh reality of today’s world. Let’s make a collective effort every time we visit any natural place to leave it better than before! Our nature needs help more than ever, and it is our responsibility to try to make it a better place. That said, if you collect trash in Crapolla, Recommone or any other remote beach, please contact the Marine Park of Punta Campanella and we will organize a trash pickup!
Remember, that if there is no blue, there is no green!