Clean-up unearths issues to be sorted

THE third Sea Shepherd Marine Debris clean-up was conducted successfully last month however, disappointingly, there was again a significant amount of rubbish along the foreshore and in the waterways.

THE third Sea Shepherd Marine Debris clean-up was conducted successfully last month however, disappointingly, there was again a significant amount of rubbish along the foreshore and in the waterways.

Debris clean-up coordinator Sarah Briggs said the group was up to the challenge, with 40 participants helping to get the job done.  

The group picked up 3072 items with 326 pieces of paper packaging, most from fast food outlets. There were 215 aluminium cans, 102 plastic drink bottles, 276 pieces of plastic food packaging and 137 foil wrappers and packets. Sea Shepherd Marine Debris says the Bridgewater clean-up sites are popular places for people to come to eat, drink and leave their rubbish.

“We were pleased to have 12 UTas students join us who were part of the Marine Debris workshop run by Thomas, Jui-Ling and Gary. The students cleaned Nielsen Esplanade Park, which is a separate site close by. They brought their collected rubbish back and did their own sort and count. The results were then combined with the main group’s collection.

“It was a lovely spring day on the river, but it was just too bad we were spending it picking up other people’s rubbish. It seems both clean-up sites are popular places for people to come to eat, drink and leave their rubbish.”  

Sarah said the group picked up 3072 items with 326 pieces of paper packaging, most from fast food outlets. There were 215 aluminium cans, 102 plastic drink bottles, 276 pieces of plastic food packaging and 137 foil wrappers and packets. The big find, though was 652 bottles. Most of these were in one pile in the grass and were pre-mix alcohol.  

Also among the haul was a shopping trolley, a large plastic mat, a broken garden chair, bits of a pram, milk crates, tires, a road sign and a weed mat.

“Unfortunately, this area has become a problem site and we will continue to conduct clean-ups. While it is great many community members are conscious of keeping the environment around them clean, it is disappointing others see these areas as a dumping ground.

“It’s not just unsightly when you’re next to the river; it is also a hazard for creatures that live in the river,” Sarah said.

“Thank you to everyone who came to help. Visiting sites again and again and always find a huge amount of rubbish can be very discouraging. The effort is worth it to keep those animals and birds who live in the river and ocean safe. It is heartening to work on these clean-ups with people who share our belief this is important work.  

“Thanks to Brighton Council support for our clean-ups and for arranging for the collection of the rubbish,” Sarah said.

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