Help us Clean up Plymouth Sound!
With your support #1000TyresProject aims to reduce the pollutants in Plymouth Sound and surrounding rivers by the removal of discarded tyres and dumped rubbish.
Why is the SHIPS Project doing an environmental initiative?
The SHIPS Project is a local history project based in Plymouth U.K., specialising in maritime and underwater heritage. The SHIPS Project has launched the 1000 Tyres Project because we have located lots of tyres and other junk while searching for shipwrecks in Plymouth Sound.
How did we find the tyres?
We found the tyres while doing sonar surveys in Plymouth Sound with Sonardyne’s Solstice sonar and working with the Plymouth University’s hydrographic department. Sonar creates an image of the seabed we can’t normally see, the image has more detail, is a wider area than can be seen by an ROV or divers, and sonar can be used in very deep areas to gain a better picture. Because of many years of working with Sonardyne and the hydro department at Plymouth University, we have developed an expertise in identifying man-made objects on the seafloor. We have processed the sonar collected from within Plymouth Sound and identified several hundred tyres, and have recorded their coordinates. The processing and the identification is the difficult part, but fortunately, we already know how to do this! You can read more about The SHIPS Project on the website link provided above.
How will we do this?
We will do this by locating the tyres, recovering them to the surface, collecting them together before having the tyres recycled. The aim of the 1000 Tyres Project is to not only remove pollutants from our marine environments but for the project to provide education and awareness on the issues of discarded tyres, and the dumping of rubbish in high traffic areas, which are not pristine environments. This is a great opportunity to show many non -divers what the underwater world looks like, and that it needs our attention.
What will we do
- Survey - We already have some sonar survey data from Plymouth Sound that shows the location of tyres and other dumped junk on the seabed but we will collect more.
- Identify - We will process the sonar data to identify all the man-made objects but also record the different types of seabed and seagrass beds.
- Remove - We will remove the discarded tyres and some of the dumped rubbish to help stop the dispersion of pollutants into Plymouth’s marine environment.
- Recycle - We will find responsible ways of recycling the tyres, discarded GRP boats and recovered junk.
- Share - We will share what we have learned about what is on the bottom of Plymouth Sound with supporters and stakeholders.
Where did the tyres come from?
There have been many tyres lost in Plymouth Sound over the years. Some of the lost tyres were fenders that fell off ships while others were deliberately dumped in the sea and rivers.
The sonar image below is a picture of the seabed by the Breakwater Fort showing lots of lost tyres that used to be fenders around the Breakwater jetty.
Sonar image courtesy of Sonardyne
This tyre was located underwater in Jennycliff Bay. We have seen in the sonar surveys conducted in Jennycliff over 50 tyres on the sea bed, along with abandoned lobster pots and other fishing gear.
What are we going to achieve?
- We will be helping to clean up Plymouth Sound!
- We will highlight the problem of discarded tyres and other junk dumped in the sea and on the foreshore.
- We will identify new and environmentally sustainable methods of recycling tyres, marine plastics and GRP.
- We will provide education and information to help reduce the amount of new dumping.
- We will involve the people of Plymouth in a great environmental project.
- We will engage the local sport diving community in an underwater project that benefits themselves, the marine environment and our underwater heritage. Sports divers will be used to confirm the identity of some of the objects located by our surveys, to recover tyres and other marine litter and to investigate any potential heritage sites.
- We will map all of the man-made objects on the seabed within Plymouth Sound and estuaries, such as tyres, shipwrecks, seagrass beds, lost moorings, cables and discarded fishing gear.
- We will share the seabed map of Plymouth Sound that we create with other organisations and stakeholders.
Why we need your support
- To produce a feasibility study that looks at more ways to recycle tyres, plastics and GRP.
- To create training material for the divers and non-divers recovering tyres and other junk. The team members, divers and non-divers will need to be trained in safety and best practice for in water lifting and recovery on to any boat or platform used in the removal.
- To educate and inform everyone about the problem of discarded tyres and dumped rubbish and how each person can make an impact.
- To develop an interactive website showing the progress of the project.
- To develop an app that shows the location of each tyre or object and lets our volunteers report back when they have been identified or recovered.
- To continue mapping the seabed in Plymouth Sound to record the location of tyres and dumped junk. With a complete map, we will identify more tyres and dumped rubbish producing microplastics and leaching pollutants into our marine environment
- Enabling people to clean up their marine environment
- Making citizen scientists
- Removing a source of pollution from our seas
- Contributing to scientific research on the health of our oceans
As a thank you for your support, we are very happy to offer a range of rewards, including:
For more details, please see the individual rewards on the right.
The 1000 Tyres Project is supported by: