Sep 16

Sentinels of the Sea – beach cleanup in Zakynthos

Zakynthos, Greece
16 Sep - 16 Sep
10:00 - 00:00

The battle against plastic pollution acquires a European dimension through the events entitled “The Guardians of the Sea”.
On September 16, 2023, citizens in Taranto and Zakynthos join the pan-European battle against marine pollution to protect the Environment.
Bari, 31 August 2023 – “Achieving the growing need for sustainability and protection of the marine environment, through cooperation based on shared good intentions, starts with the citizen.” This is one of the principles that inspired and motivated the Interreg V-A Greece-Italy Program 2014/2020, the Regional strategic organization for the ecological sustainable development of the Puglia Region (ASSET Puglia) and the Region of the Ionian Islands – Funding Agency, Lead Partner and Partner of the Interreg AETHER project respectively (acronym in English for “Alliance for the Effective Transnational Handling of Environmental Resources”) – to organize, on September 16, 2023, a mass awareness-raising action aimed at the active participation of European citizens in environmental protection, making them the real “Guardians of the Sea”.

This series of events is entitled “Sentinels of the Sea” and represents the wave of change that, starting from the shores of Apulia (Taranta) and reaching the shores of Zakynthos, will create a moral movement which will be able to cross national borders and unite citizens, associations, economic and public bodies under the banner of cooperation.
A value that always encourages Interreg projects and which is celebrated in September during Interreg’s European Cooperation Day. A communication campaign under which the event “Guardians of the Sea” will be held in Zakynthos, which aims to highlight the contribution of cross-border cooperation projects to improving the lives of citizens and reducing obstacles and inequality that slow down social prosperity.
With the “Guardians of the Sea”, Puglia and Greece are once again joining forces to protect the environment, focusing on raising awareness and educating the community and citizens in the fight against pollution. It is no coincidence that the date chosen for the “Guardians of the Sea” events is September 16, 2023. On that day, World Cleanup Day is celebrated. It is the largest citizen action to clean up and map waste to fight pollution, designed by the Estonian NGO “Let’s Do It!” and involves, so far actively, more than 191 countries.

“Sea Guards” participate in this world day by organizing, on September 16, 2023, two clean-up events simultaneously: the first is organized on the beach of Gerakas in Zakynthos (Greece) by the Region of the Ionian Islands, and the second in Taranto, in the Lido Taranto area by the Regional strategic organization for the ecological sustainable development of the Apulia Region (ASSET Puglia).

The event in Zakynthos is organized by the Region of the Ionian Islands with the support of the M.D. National Parks of Zakynthos, Ainos and Protected Areas of the Ionian Islands and the Europe Direct office of the Region of the Ionian Islands. The event will also take part in the Lithakia KPE and the voluntary organizations “ZaCLEANthos” and “Clean Water in Zakynthos”.

The meeting point of the event will be the Information Center in Gerakas, Zakynthos. The event will start at the Information Center, where there will be presentations on the actions of the “AETHER” project, as well as information from the MD staff. National Parks of Zakynthos, Ainos and Protected Areas of the Ionian Islands for the protected area. This will be followed by the cleaning action on the part of the beach between the sea and the ropes that define the nesting area of the sea turtle Caretta caretta, where in any case the participants are not allowed to enter. The OFYPEKA Nature Conservator will contribute to the information and supervision of the activity.

The cleaning action is aimed at adults and children alike! The organizers for the Ionian Islands Region will take care of equipping the participants. All you need to bring with you is a hat to protect you from the sun and your good mood!

For more information and updates about the events follow the AETHER project page on Facebook: