How do freshmen meet? Of course, doing something useful and interesting together! Since 2014, the “Clean Coast” international youth environmental campaign has been held annually on the shores of the Baltic Sea in the framework of international agreements on the active involvement of young people in environmental protection. The goal of the project is to improve environmental culture, develop environmental volunteerism and international cooperation in this area. The Clean Coast campaign contributes to the implementation of the Helsinki Commission for the Protection of the Baltic Sea (HELCOM) plan to reduce the amount of garbage entering the sea. Every year, about 500 people take part in this action in St. Petersburg.
This year, the action took place on 12 September on the coast of Kotlin Island in Kronstadt. Students of ten St. Petersburg universities took part in it. SPbGASU was represented by two teams, which included 15 freshmen each. The program of the action included an introductory part, an environmental quest, and separate waste collection. At the end of the quest and waste collection, the teams received points.
Mikhail Rumyantsev, a specialist of the SPbGASU Department of Social and Extracurricular Work:
- First, city officials addressed the young men: Chairman of the Committee on Nature Management, Environmental Protection and Ecological Safety of St. Petersburg Denis Belyaev, Head of the Kronstadt District Oleg Dovganyuk, Consul for Press and Culture of the Finnish Consulate in St. Petersburg Anna Laine, State Duma deputy Vladimir Katenev, and deputy of the Legislative Assembly Petersburg Alexander Khodosok. Björn Grönholm, Head of the Secretariat of the Commission for Sustainable Development of the Union of the Baltic Cities, and Rüdiger Strempel, Executive Secretary of HELCOM, addressed the students with video messages. Then the environmental quest began, and the students split into teams. All tasks were related to the environment: participants solved crosswords, recalled films about nature conservation. After the quest, a separate waste collection day began. The guys collected metal, glass, rubber and mixed garbage, cleaning the coast of the Gulf of Finland. According to the results of the quest and waste collection, one of the SPbGASU teams took second place.
Freshmen from other cities, who are in the majority at SPbGASU, saw Kronstadt and the Gulf of Finland for the first time and were delighted with their beauty. And here is what the students themselves say.
Anastasia Zorina, first-year student of the Faculty of Civil Engineering:
- Initially I thought that it would be a usual action to clean the coast. But then we learned that an environmental quest awaited us. When it was announced that our team had won the second place, at first I was shocked and then delighted. I am very glad that I took part in the “Clean Coast” campaign: this event gave me unforgettable emotions and new acquaintances.
Tina Pilyayeva, first-year student of the Faculty of Civil Engineering:
- The action gave me incredible emotions, the atmosphere charged with its optimism. This is a great opportunity to do something for the environment and work as a team.