With the summer coming to and end and the start of the school year in sight, the Valpo Surf Project has started getting ready for the third annual United for Clean Water campaign. On March 22, the VSP will be joining Save the Waves and the Maule and Itata Coastkeeper for a countrywide day of environmental stewardship. The campaign was formed back in 2012, in the aftermath of two of Chile’s most powerful earthquakes, as part of an effort to rebuild the relationship between the ocean and Chile’s coastal communities. United for Clean Water hopes to address the growing issues of coastal debris, water quality and the conservation of marine ecosystems through stewardship of Chile’s coastal natural resources by local communities.

Last year, the event mobilized over 600 volunteers to help clean and restore beaches, river mouths and estuaries along 34 kilometers of Chilean coastline. Volunteers collected over 4500 kilos of debris, consisting largely of cigarette butts, plastic bags and plastic bottles. The cleanups centered around five iconic surf spots in Chile: Pichilemu, Punta de Lobos, Loanco, Curanipe and Cobquecura. However, NGOs, businesses, youth groups, surf clubs, communities and individuals all along the coast organized additional volunteer led clean-ups in 23 cities in 10 different regions.

The Valpo Surf Project helped organize and lead the charge in Valparaiso. 45 volunteers, including many VSP students, picked up over 250 kilos of trash at Playa Portales. This March, Unites for Clean Water is coming back for a third consecutive year, and we hope to top those numbers. Join us, and help care for the beaches and coastline that make this city so special.

Want to know more?

Check out this great video about the campaign from 2012:

Get updates on the event on the United for Clean Water Facebook page and stay posted on our efforts and how you can get involved on the VSP page.

And enjoy these VSP photos from the clean at Playa Portales last year: