Soft rock slops and blue seas as far as the eye can see are one of the characteristics of the archipelago in Færder National Park in Vestfold and Telemark. The National Park is a popular destination and attracts visitors from the entire country. However, large amounts of plastic are hidden in the cracks and crevices in the roche moutonnée.
Over two days, the Norwegian Centre for Oil Spill Preparedness and Marine Environment participated in a clean-up mission in Færder National Park together with the Oslofjord Outdoor Council, Havnøy Archipelago Service and the National Park Manager.
As part of the national beach clean-up project, the centre participated in clean-up operations in four different counties this autumn. The aim is to map, observe and form the basis for thematic reports on the logistics of clean-up operations and the role of the County Governor in the clean-up of marine litter.
Action over several years
There are differences in the types of waste found in the south compared to further north in the country, where larger objects such as fishpots, buoys, nets and ropes are often found. Some of the main findings from this mission were polystyrene, pellets, bottles and smaller plastic fragments.
A lot of the waste is difficult to spot as it is layered down into the soil and wedged between cracks in the roche moutonnée. Nevertheless, it was clear that the area had been cleared and looked after for several years.
– The knowledge the Archipelago Service, Oslofjord Outdoor Council and the National Park Manager possessed about their archipelago impressed me. Their knowledge included things like how different wind and current conditions lead to littering in different parts of the national park and which areas need to be cleared more frequently than others. They have invested a lot of resources in clean-up activities over a number of years, which is evident from looking at the area, says Project Manager, Mads Homleid Busvold.
Havnøy Archipelago Service plays an important role in the clean-up activities in Færder National Park. In close collaboration with Oslofjorden Outdoor Council and the National Park Manager, they facilitate clean-up operations in the archipelago, as well as the collection of waste.
– We invite different groups of people to join us on clean-up operations and we actively use Facebook and other channels to encourage people to join us. We also have a Facebook page where people can report the areas they have cleared so that we can collect the waste, explains Øystein Hovde, who is a head of department at the Havnøy Archipelago Service.
Hovde explains that, while they are usually responsible for the practical aspects relating to transport and collection of waste, Oslofjorden Outdoor Council manages the aspects relating to training and communication with the participants they bring with them, such as school classes.
The Oslofjord Outdoor Council and the National Park Manager use the National Park Centre at the World’s End (“Verdens ende”) as a hub to meet and coordinate their plans.
Discussing the possibilities of Rent hav
The final day concluded with an open discussion of the Rent hav mapping tool, which the centre is developing for custodians and participants involved in marine litter. Rent hav collects environmental data, clean-up data and allows participants to inspect an area and report information about clean-up requirements and other relevant matters.
– Rent hav will be an important tool in the work to clean up marine litter nationwide and the centre appreciates input from participants that are closely involved in clean-up activities and will be the ones to use the tool, explains Anja Meland Rød, Project Manager for Rent hav.
About Færder National Park
Færder National Park in the Outer Oslo Fjord covers 340 square kilometres of mainland, islands, reefs and the seabed in the Municipality of Færder. The National Park stretches from Ormøy in the north to Færder Lighthouse in the south. The islands to the south of Hvasser, as well as World’s End and Moutmarka are also part of the National Park.
Færder National Park is managed by the Færder National Park Board, which consists of elected representatives from the Municipality of Færder and Vestfold County. The National Park Board exercises its authority in line with the conservation regulations.