A Cornish couple who have collected hundreds of kilos of litter from the sea have been told by Prime Minister Boris Johnson that they inspire him.
The couple have been awarded a Points of Light award by the Prime Minister in recognition of their dedication to keeping Cornwall’s coastline pristine.
Through their organisation Clean Ocean Sailing, Steve Green and Monika Hertlová host eco-sailing expeditions around Cornwall and beyond, raising awareness of pollution in our oceans and helping to clean up our waters by collecting plastic waste from remote areas of coastline.
Along with their team of volunteers, they hold recycling plastic workshops and also provide sailing training, as well as opportunities to join their crew and accompany them on regular clean up expeditions to areas of coastline that are largely inaccessible by foot.
Over the last year, with the help of their 113-year old ship Annette that they restored 13 years ago, they have continued to run sailing trips where pandemic restrictions have allowed and have retrieved hundreds of kilos of litter from the sea.
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Clean Ocean Sailing is based in Gweek near Helston.
In his letter to Steve and Monika, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I was inspired to learn of your sailing expeditions on your lovingly restored ship ‘The Annette’ to collect hundreds of kilos of litter.
“I am proud that the UK has protected more than 4.3 million square kilometres of the world’s ocean and I am delighted that you are playing your part in preserving our marine life with your pirate ship patrols.
“As we mark World Oceans Day, and look forward to the G7 Summit, let me thank you for your fantastic work to preserve the natural beauty of Cornwall’s waters and coastline.”
The accolade was awarded on World Oceans Day, ahead of the G7 summit being hosted in Cornwall this week which will see the Prime Minister call on international leaders to step up action to tackle climate change and protect our oceans and natural environment.
The UK Government has also announced new plans to increase protections for England’s marine environments through a pilot scheme to designate sites as Highly Protected Marine Areas, alongside wider efforts to drive global action to protect our oceans. Under UK leadership, 80 countries have now signed up to an international target to protect at least 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030.
The Prime Minister’s UK daily Point of Light award was first launched in April 2014 to recognise outstanding individuals making a difference in their communities. To date, 1653 individuals have received awards, ranging from pilots flying oxygen cylinders to India to teachers who set up online lessons during lockdown.
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