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Limpeza - Fabrica de Baleia, Maia

Limpeza - Fabrica de Baleia, Maia

Thank you to our captain Armando Pacheco of Clube Naval and our volunteers who joined us for a cleanup by boat yesterday! All of our volunteers this time around have a residence here in Santa Maria - which means lots of local love! We ventured first towards the north to Mar da Barca, but upon arrival realized the conditions were not safe for entry and turned South towards the lighthouse in Maia.

Neon Joyride Coastal Cleanup with Clube Naval September 2022

It was a beautiful afternoon on the water - sun shining and overall good water conditions on the South side of the island. We enjoyed marveling at the beautiful lava rock formations on our way to the cleanup site.

lava rock formations along the coast Santa Maria Azores
Docking at the Fabrica de Baleia, Maia Santa Maria Azores

We docked off of the old port at the fabrica de baleia for our cleanup. Most of our garbage collected this time was related to fishing - ropes, lines etc. -we even pulled a net out of the sea on our way towards Maia from Mar da Barca. We also collected many medium plastic fragments, crates, buckets and some microplastics. We also collected trash that visitors left behind after enjoying an evening at the site - such as numerous beer bottles and cigarette packets, food packaging/wrappers. All in all, the weight was not much, only 10kg with many of the items not weighing much. The volume though was 300 liters+.

International Coastal Cleanup Day Removing Ghost Fishing Nets from the Ocean

We enjoyed our time together on the water and are grateful again not only for the beautiful weather, but for our partner Armando at Clube Naval who is always ready to help us to keep coastlines clean!!

Here are some photos from our event! Hope to see you with us next time! Our next cleanup is Sunday, 2 October in Maia. We will meet at the pool at 13h. Join us for a walk along the coast, cleanup and swim! 😎

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Blue Voices

Blue Voices

Honored to have been featured as a BLUE VOICE! - An adovcate for the Blue Azores Initiative, among so many amazing people doing what they love and working together to protect our oceans!

Thank you to the Oceano Azul Foundation and the Waitt Institute for partnering with the Regional Government of the Açores and for connecting us all! Especially for supporting our grass roots projects - and helping to give us a voice! And for moving mountains by organizing governments and people to create lasting positive change and for inspiring us to continue to strive for a better blue future!

For more info on this and the Blue Azores campaign visit:

 Catherine Gendler Blue Voice Blue Azores Program Neon Joyride Santa Maria Açores

Uma Surfada, Uma Limpeza

Catherine Gendler Blue Voices Oceano Azul Foundation Blue Azores
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2nd Annual Island Wide Cleanup

2nd Annual Island Wide Cleanup

From the NW to the SE corners, 114 volunteers showed their love for our island this Saturday, working together to clean 1638kg of waste from our coastline. 

Escuteiros Aeroporto Santa Maria Azores Neon Joyride Island Wide Cleanup 2022

Celebrating Earth Day in this way is slowly becoming a tradition- as our Annual Island Wide Cleanup initiative continues to gain traction.

Here, volunteers in Maia collect debris along the coast near the Aveiro waterfall.

Island Wide Cleanup Neon Joyride 2022 Santa Maria Azores

A HUGE thank you to all of our 114 volunteers and leaders that joined us today for our 2nd Annual Island Wide Coastal Cleanup for Earth Day! Together, from 9 locations in 2 hours, we removed more than a tonne of ocean litter! 1,638kg of plastic, metal, glass, rubber, textiles, ropes & ghost gear was collected from our coastline. That is more than the weight of an average car! And more than 3 times the amount we collected last year for our Island Wide Coastal Cleanup!! Amazing work!!

Neon Joyride Island Wide Cleanup Santa Maria Azores

And most of all, we had fun doing it together!! By protecting and regenerating our coastal environment, we see the importance of keeping our oceans clean and the importance of working together.

Neon Joyride Island Wide Cleanup Ribeira Seca Santa Maria Azores

Santa Maria Blues Neon Joyride Island Wide Limpeza Anjos 2022

Maia Neon Joyride Island Wide Cleanup 2022

EBSSMA Escola Azul & Neon Joyride Island Wide Cleanup 2022

Praia Formosa Neon Joyride Island Wide Cleanup Limpeza 2022

Neon Joyride Island Wide Limpeza Escuteiros Santa Maria Azores

Neon Joyride Sul Island Wide Limpeza 2022

💙 Here are the numbers!

PRAIA FORMOSA - FORTE a PRAINHA 100kg, 13 pessoas.

SÃO LOURENÇO - 58 kg, 6 pessoas.

ANJOS - PRAIA DOS LOBOS, 340kg, 20 pessoas.

ANJOS - COLOMBO 770 kg, 12 pessoas.

CALHAU DA ROUPA 27,3 kg, 20 pessoas.

RIBEIRA SECA 32,3 kg, 15 pessoas.

MAIA 125,1kg, 21 pessoas.

SUL 150kg, 7 pessoas.

LIXO TOTAL: 1.638kg



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Ocean Literacy EBSSMA

Ocean Literacy EBSSMA

This morning I had the pleasure of speaking again at the Escola Secundaria de Santa Maria - a "Blue School" - about the importance of the Blue Azores initiative to protect our oceans, and specifically the importance of sustainable fishing, circular economy and the ocean plastic problem.

To raise awareness is to empower. Thank you to both Professor João Carlos Almeida and his Environment Class students as well as to Professor Helena the school's director of the Escola Azul Program and her students for having me!

EBSSMA Escola Azul Program - Ocean Literacy Santa Maria Azores

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Lobos Love: March Coastal Cleanup

Lobos Love: March Coastal Cleanup

Thank you to all of the volunteers who joined us today in Anjos for our coastal cleanup at Praia dos Lobos! 🙏🌊💙

In 2 hours we removed 126.5kg of ocean plastic and marine trash from our coastline...all kinds of garbage from oversized ropes to microplastics.

A special thank you to the local surfers who had come before us and piled together some larger items up and away from the waterline. This made it easier for us to collect much of the oversized litter!

This beach is much cleaner after our work today, but that being said, we couldn't carry all of the larger ropes to our trash collection site and the surrounding beaches are still full of garbage! We need more strong ✋ hands to help us next month at our island wide cleanup to clear it all away!! And we are recruiting for leaders at this location too!

Winter Coastal Cleanup Neon Joyride Santa Maria Azores

Family friendly Coastal Cleanups - Neon Joyride Santa Maria Azores
Coastal Cleanup Praia dos Lobos Neon Joyride Santa Maria Azores

Ocean Plastic Cleanup Neon Joyride Santa Maria Azores

Kids Coastal Cleanup Neon Joyride Anjos Santa Maria Azores

Neon Joyride Coastal Cleanup Anjos Santa Maria Azores

Coastal Cleanup Volunteers Neon Joyride Anjos Santa Maria Azores
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Fresh Start: January Beach Cleanup in São Lourenço

Fresh Start: January Beach Cleanup in São Lourenço

Thank you to all 24 of our volunteers who came out for our first official cleanup of the year in São Lourenço this Saturday!

We worked together for just under 2 hours to clean the beaches near the pool and towards the port. In total we gathered 76kg of marine litter 🙌.

We spent the first 40 minutes meditatively picking microplastics from the sand, as each wave washed ashore new plastics. Afterwards we moved North on to larger items further down the coast, the bulk of which collecting felt more rewarding.

Witnessing ocean pollution first hand and it's affects on wildlife inspires change in our daily lives and impacts the choices we make.

Neon Joyride Beach Cleanup Marine Waste Azores

marine life beach cleanup pollution awareness

Neon Joyride Beach Cleanup Event São Lourenço Santa Maria Azores

Beach combing Azores Neon Joyride Cleanup Event


Sharing this experience with children is always inspiring. On these excursions, we have the chance to connect with nature and with each other. We come across wonders from the sea as well as marine trash. And there is always the opportunity to have fun, to learn and witness something marvelous.

...the many scuttling crabs, sargassum & algae, various jellyfish, several dead small fishes- manta ray and shark egg pods...


Manta Ray Egg Pod Wonders of the Sea

Baía de São Lourenço Santa Maria Açores

Volunteers Neon Joyride Events Beach Cleanup Santa Maria Azores

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Roteiro Intercultural: Tour & Cleanup

Roteiro Intercultural: Tour & Cleanup

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Roteiro Intercultural for Human Rights Week celebrating our story and connection to Santa Maria - the community and places that helped to establish this bond. Thank you to Cresaçor for inviting me to guide you on this journey and to all of you for listening : )

Our tour commenced at our store in Vila do Porto and went on to Santo Espirito to the Miradouro in Salto. From there, we went down to the Baía de São Lourenço and did a cleaning, 81kg of marine litter in 20 minutes! Amazing!! Afterwards, we headed to Anjos, where we celebrated our one year anniversary of registered community coastal cleanups! And enjoyed a picnic near the sea.

We are so grateful for such a wonderful community and to have made our home on such magical island. Every interaction weaves more magic into our lives.

A special thank you to Antonio, our driver and to the Camera Municipal for providing transportation and Mr. Domingos Barbosa for acting as our ambassador.

photos: Roberto Sousa Moura


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Cool Azores: Blue Azores

Cool Azores: Blue Azores

Amazing weekend spent at the Caloura Hotel and Resort in São Miguel with 25+ organizations from the Azores to act on protecting our ocean and island environments.

Thank you to Blue Azores, the Oceano Azul Foundation and the Waitt Institute for bringing us all together and for organizing this amazing initiative! Additional thanks to the Regional Secretary of the Ambiente for joining us and supporting our oceans!

We spent a day discussing the future of our ocean and coastal areas and presented action plans to improve our local environments, island by island.

A gathering of ocean lovers would not be complete without a coastal cleanup! So we gathered at the beautiful cove near the hotel and spent an hour cleaning litter from the coastline.

In 2022 the Blue Azores initiative will push to protect 30% of the Azorean Ocean. That is 300,000m2! - That's an incredible project with so much love and passion for preserving marine life and keeping our coastlines clean.

An honor to be amongst such a beautiful group of inspiring people. Great to connect with you all! The world is a better place with you in it! 🙌🌊✨

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Wet Winter Cleanup: Praia do Colombo in Anjos

Wet Winter Cleanup: Praia do Colombo in Anjos

Even the wet winter weather couldn't keep this crew of ocean lovers away! 9 people showed up to volunteer for Sunday's cleanup. 3 kids and 6 adults (2 are missing from our group photos at the end, already warming their toes and drying off indoors).

We cleaned the beach in Anjos at Colombo (locals know it as Olga's) for about an hour in pouring rain and wind. We collected 39kg of plastics- the majority of which were smaller plastic fragments and bottle caps- which seems to be specifically prevalent at this location.

Thank you all for your amazing energy and spirit and effort! You guys are such troopers! We thought when we arrived we may need to cancel but instead everyone braved the weather and thanks to you, the coastline is a bit cleaner! We enjoyed meeting some new faces as well!

A special thank you to Helder Gonçalves and the Associação Escravos da Cadeínha for providing a warm dry beautiful space for sheltering us from the storm and for making delicious coffee for our volunteers.

Best island ever!

This brings our total haul this year to 1350kg - the majority of which has been microplastics! Join us for our next and final cleanup event of the year on 4 December. 🙌🌊🖤

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Annual Escola Azul Cleanup: Kids Remove Microplastics from Praia Formosa

Annual Escola Azul Cleanup: Kids Remove Microplastics from Praia Formosa

Spent a perfect day yesterday with the first grade classes from Vila do Porto and Airport Schools who held their annual cleanup as a part of their Escola Azul program led by Florbela Cunha.

Amazing to see these kids at work, cleaning the beach at Praia Formosa, tiny hands and tiny plastics!

They collected 40kg of microplastics and 30kg of wood debris with help of a few parents and teachers.

This time of year, microplastics begin to scatter the coastline all around the island, it's a seemingly never ending problem.

Educating and raising awareness is a huge part of turning off the plastic tap and resolving the issue. And ocean literacy is what Escola Azul is all about!

Amazing work guys!! Proud of you all!! The ocean and island thanks you.

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