This paradisiacal beach at Miyako City in Japan was hit by the Tōhoku Tsunami in 2011. Due to a 9.1 magnitude earthquake, waves of up to 133 ft(40.5m) swooped over this beach and left it a mess of plastic, wood and metal. After massive cleanup operations, the beach was restored to its former glory and is now a busy tourist destination, well known for the beautiful series of rock formations along the coast. The area is part of the Sanriku Fukkō National Park and is a nationally designated Place of Scenic Beauty.
Sam Pak Wan Beach, Hong Kong
Sam Pak Wan beach is one of the many beaches in the Discovery Bay area of Lantau Island, which is part of the outlying islands around Hong Kong.Unfortunately, due to Hong Kong’s massive industrial expansion since the 1950’s, the surrounding beaches have been plagued by pollution. Thanks to Sam Pak Wan’s ongoing beach clean-up efforts, if caught at the right time, the beach can be found looking as beautiful as pictured above. Even though the beach is cleaned quite regularly, it still manages to accumulate quite a bit of rubbish in between, so finding it clean is a bit of a gamble if you plan on visiting.
Gulf Coast, United States
After the BP-operated Macondo Prospect had a massive oil blowout in 2010, considered biggest marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry, the surrounding beaches on the Gulf Coast where left covered in oil. The spill was somewhat contained in 2012 and after massive clean up efforts, the beaches were returned to their previous state. Unfortunately, neither the ocean or the life in them has fully recovered. Fish in the area are inedible as they have developed both heart and other organ deformities. In July of 2015, BP agreed to pay $18.7 in fines, the largest corporate settlement in history U.S history.
Kamilo Beach, Hawaii
Kamilo Beach, located on the Southeast coast of the island of Hawaii, is well known for its accumulation of plastic marine debris due to being in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Thanks to a massive effort from Hawaii Wildlife Fund, their group of sixty six volunteers managed to clean up Kamilo beach at the start of 2017. A total of 2,725 pounds(1236 kg) of trash was collected and taken to recycling plants or landfills, with washed up fishing nets making up for over 450 pounds(250 kg) of the collected waste. Although the beach will still have to be cleaned every few years, it is clean enough for tourists and local ocean lovers to visit and enjoy.
Versova Beach, Mumbai
After a massive 21 month effort by the Mumbai community, over 11,684,500 pounds(5,300,000 kg) of rubbish was removed from the Versova Beach on the West Coast of India. Thanks to the efforts of a young lawyer named Afroz Shah in 2016 and over a thousand volunteers, this beach is accessible once again. Not only did they clear the trash, they also planted 50 coconut trees and cleaned 52 of the nearby public toilets. Although the majority of the beach has been cleaned, Afroz Shah and his team will resume cleaning of the beach in December of 2017