Raggy Charters Launches Wildside Beachwalkers InitiativeSunday, 1st June 2014
Plastic pollution on our beaches seems set to stay for the foreseeable future, and one may ask what can be done? Everyone is very quick to point fingers at the chokka and fishing industry, foreign ships and the authorities who fail to do anything about it. The only ongoing solution is to actually do something about it ourselves and encourage like-minded people to do the same.
The Baywatch Marine Conservation Project was started during 1992 in order to educate the community about the marine environment and the need for its protection and conservation, assisting in marine law enforcement and assisting marine scientists in their research. Another objective is to assist in the removal of marine litter. Since the Sustainable Seas Trust motivational talk we attended in June 2013, the Baywatch team has set about cleaning the beach between Seaview and Laurie’s Bay. The motivational speaker asked everyone present to do just one thing to help making the world a cleaner and better place. This was our response and we have been doing it on a daily basis.
Initially the rubbish was so bad we thought we would never make an impact. Once a start was made however the situation was gradually brought under control. It is sometimes impossible to bring all the rubbish home, so it was piled up in heaps at various points along the coast. What was surprising was that soon other people started adding litter to these piles. Sometimes the piles would be carried off or get set alight; rumour has it by the “Seaview fairies”. Setting rubbish alight on the beach may not seem like such a wise idea, but what do the experts say? Leading scientists conducting marine litter research say the following. “In Europe plastic litter is used to generate electricity but the fumes are filtered out before they are released into the atmosphere. If the litter is too far away from a collection point or is too heavy to carry then it would be better to set it alight than to leave it where it is. Make sure that it does not become a bushfire risk and remove the condensed burnt material at a later date.” This point is open to debate.
While the state of the beach between Seaview and Laurie’s Bay has improved drastically, we need more people involved and need to expand to Beachview and Maitland’s. The area in front of Nautilus crescent and Chapman Road also needs more regular attention. The idea is to use local residents who would like to walk their dogs on the beach or even just walk on the beach and assist by getting litter to various points. Perhaps some of the people in houses adjoining the beach would like to offer the bottom of their properties as a pick up point. Each section of beach will have a “custodian” who will help organise the cleaning of that particular section. The whole idea is that it should be fun and done in conjunction with some other activity. Going to the beach only to collect litter would soon become more of a task rather than enjoying and appreciating our wonderful fauna and flora that this magnificent section of coast has to offer. It would be so nice after having cleaned your section of beach to walk onto someone else’s section and not have to pick up rubbish, only enjoy the walk! We are also offering plant identification courses to participants.
We realise that there are many other unsung heroes who also assist in removing litter from the beaches and thank them for their efforts. There are also some Metro initiatives and we would like to be seen as contributing to this, the more the merrier.
Anyone interested in assisting should call Lloyd Edwards on 084 55 222 77 for details of the inaugural meeting to be held at 3 Albatross Crescent, Seaview on the 14th June at 17h00.