It’s no secret that the level of pollution continues to rise every year. And humanity is the only one responsible for this crime against the planet. The amount of waste people have dumped has gradually gotten worse, and it’s not just affecting us. It’s also affecting other lifeforms on Earth. Just ask the people of Mumbai, India, whose sea turtles seemingly vanished from the Indian beaches for two decades. A major cleanup effort was put in place, but would it be enough to ensure that the sea turtles, which have roamed the oceans for millions of years, would return? Only time would tell.

For over 100 million years, sea turtles have swum peacefully across the entire planet’s oceans.

Over time, human progress started to encroach on these gentle creatures’ natural habitats, forcing them to flee towards safer conditions. This wasn’t exactly an easy mission given the dangerous levels of pollution.

Turtles need air, but their metabolic rate allows them to extract oxygen from water as well.

Sadly, this skill won’t help creatures like this turtle, who’s tangled up in this net. If it doesn’t get loose in time, it will likely starve. Of course, it also runs the risk of getting eaten by a vicious underwater predator, or worse, running out of oxygen.

Unfortunately, pollution has become a major issue, and the sea turtles have paid a high price.

Off the coast of Mexico, 300 turtles washed ashore. Unfortunately, none of them survived. Environmentalists believed that they had gotten trapped inside a stray fishing net, where they ultimately drowned.

Sea turtles swim to the shoreline in order to lay their eggs, which is impossible in all this mess.

This beach in Mumbai, India was unsuitable for nesting, but an initiative by locals was about to change all of that. Citizens wanted to make their beaches safe again for humans as well as sea turtles, but they had their work cut out for them.

Afroz Shah, who’s a lawyer and an environmentalist, led the effort to clean up the grim-looking shores.

As an ocean lover, Shah was determined to pick up every litter of trash and make the shoreline habitable for all life. After all, he wasn’t called the UN Environment’s Champion of the Earth for nothing. And everyone was very impressed by his efforts.

The UN was stunned by this feat, which they called the “world’s largest beach cleanup project.”

With the help of some amazing volunteers, Shah began the difficult task of getting rid of a whopping 5 million kilograms of plastic. And he managed to do this in only 85 weeks, which was an incredible accomplishment!

Shah and his volunteers certainly had their work cut out for them given all the trash around them.

What should have been a beach full of golden sand and fresh water had become a dumping ground of rotting waste. In fact, there were areas where there was so much plastic, that it practically reached the volunteers’ waists.

Everyone worked hard on Mumbai’s Versova Beach to transform the shoreline into something beautiful.

The cleanup effort was only the beginning. Every time a monsoon hit this region, the ocean would seemingly spill more waste onto the shore. The volunteers realized this, and were willing and able to come back again and again to keep the beach clean.

Once all the tough work was complete, the beautiful coastline became virtually unrecognizable.

It’s hard to believe that this is the same beach that was littered with plastic and other garbage. Now that the shore was clean again, Shah and his volunteers were certain that the sea turtles would have a chance to procreate again.

There are seven different species of sea turtles, and six of them are considered critically endangered.

So, there’s tons of work to ensure that these sea turtles don’t become extinct. However, Shah’s initiative has given these adorable little creatures a fighting chance. Shah even teared up when he saw the turtles wiggling their way across the sand.

These beautiful creatures are ancient, and they were here long before humans walked the Earth.

Given that it was humanity that put these creatures in danger, it seems only fair that people should try and prevent these sea turtles from vanishing from the face of the planet. But thanks to Shah’s efforts, they now have a fighting chance.

Every volunteer put their hearts into this cleanup mission, but there was one more thing to do.

Once they managed to get rid of all the plastic, fishing nets, and other pollutants, the volunteers planned to guard a group of turtle hatchlings as they walked into the sea. It was an experience that made everyone involved grateful that they had helped.

Cleaning the beach wasn’t a one-time thing, which is why Shah needed as many volunteers as possible.

There are currently 500 volunteers who come to the beach on the weekends to make sure that the beach stays clean. They also have nearly 30,000 school kids on their roster in case they need a little extra help to keep the beach looking beautiful.

Cleaning the beach wasn’t a one-time thing, which is why Shah needed as many volunteers as possible.

Source:
Bored Panda

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