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"Puliamo la Sella 2021", the community of the sea is back (and stronger) in Cagliari

Over 300 volunteers called by the third edition of “Puliamo la Sella” met in the amphitheater of the small port of “Marina Piccola”. They chose the SUP team, or that of the hikers. They put on masks and snorkels, or gloves for the long walks along the quays and the beach of the first Poetto stops. Others went hunting for garbage in canoes. The divers raked the bottom, the children enjoyed the game of turning plastic and cigarette butts into a work of art. After three hours all returned to the amphitheater, in front of the MEDSEA Foundation stand, for the “harvest” party: 15 tons of waste stolen from the bushes, sand, rocks, the surface and the bottom of the sea. A lump of half a ton of fishing nets, a car battery, a motorcycle rim, iron pipes, cans, glass and plastic, plastic, plastic. Pollution’s fantasy is endless.

But party it is: the disturbing mass swept under the carpet of nature and beauty is displayed, the work is light and crucial, individual and collective, necessary and symbolic: "Our goal is certainly not to solve a problem. Anyone who looks at the sea of Cagliari can only praise its beauty. But three hours of cleaning are enough to understand how much is hidden in the clarity of water or in the green of the promontory. The threat to ecosystems is everywhere, it is severe. This is the message we want to launch", explains Andrea Alvito, MEDSEA marine biologist and protagonist in the organization of the event. “A truly extraordinary day. After the year of stop due to the pandemic, it is wonderful to find an enthusiasm even higher than that already important of the first two editions. This massive clean-up was certainly born to contribute to the environmental balance of a symbolic place of our city, but above all to raise awareness among citizens. Seeing that they increase in number every year, seeing that they belong to all generations is the greatest success” adds the president of MEDSEA, Alessio Satta.

Numerous sport, environmental and cultural associations took part in the initiative of 29 June, sponsored by the municipality of Cagliari: the Olè Kayak Kayak School, TuttiInSup, Golfo degli Angeli Cooperative, AIR Sub, Subaqua Diving, Tribune - Apnea Sector, Marevivo Onlus, UpsideDown Sardinia, EcoClean Villacidro, Scout Cngei (Ca2), Scout Assoraider (Ca24), Political Pharmacy, Nieddittas, UniCa LGBT, Tourist Guide and Youth for the Planet. The guest star was surf champion Francisco Porcella, who returned from the cleaning aboard a SUP weighed down by the bags of floating garbage: "A wonderful day, and a very important message for everyone, for the old and the new generations. All together we must change, find a sustainable way of experiencing the environment. Small gestures that together can make a mass and take a different direction, far from the consumerist trend typical of our time".

At the midday meeting each team leader has a specific story about the covered areas. The amazement at the amount of waste found is matched only by the joy of the collective ritual, of the hours spent experiencing sport and the city with the spirit of finding oneself for the cause of the environment, for the cause of the community in the environment. “We are really happy to have co-organized this event with the MEDSEA Foundation”, says Michela Congiu of Reset UNICA. “We have been able to involve many university students and make our small contribution to the care of the planet. It was nice to be here, on this splendid day in June, after so many months of solitude”.

 

Puliamo la Sella is part of the broader project of the MEDSEA foundation "Plastic Free Med", which from 2018 to 2020, in over 20 events held in Sardinia and other areas of the Mediterranean, allowed the collection of almost 50 tons of plastics and other waste at sea.

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