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Western Australia

2012 West Australian Beach Clean Up Report Released

2012 WA ReportBeach cleanups during the 2012 West Australian Beach Cleanup have been met with much enthusiasm from over 1,300 volunteers who scoured over 191 kilometres of coastline over 2,643 hours. This generated 65,305 individual items of debris equating to over 4 tonnes with plastics, again dominating all debris recovered; however, overall abundance of plastics was 46% less than reported in 2011. The overall distribution of debris recovered for 2012 was sourced from marine origins in 57% of cases and 43% from terrestrial sources. Of the eight broader locations sampled, the greatest number of recovered items was from West Coast sites with 20,650 individual items weighing 1,375.1 kilograms and cigarette butts and filters being the most abundant debris, up 54% on 2011. Three sites recorded plastics hard and solid as the dominant item (South Coast, 56% increase on 2011; Western South Coast, 23% less than 2011 and Capes Coast, 60% less than 2011). Cigarette butts and filters dominated three sites (Geographe Bay, 69% increase on 2011; West Coast and Gascoyne NW and Kimberley, 37% increase on 2011). The Mid-West Coast was dominated by plastic film remnants such as plastic shopping bag fragments, which showed a 76% increase on 2011 data. Indian Ocean Island territories were dominated by plastic drink bottles accounting for a 63% decrease for the same reporting in 2011.

Download the whole report 2012 WA Beach Clean Up Report.

Floating Around for 36 Years!

201212 EllensbrookInteresting find!! This CSIRO Drift Card was found in December by Liz McGuire at Ellenbrook Beach in Western Australia as part of the Australian Marine Debris Initiative monthly monitoring marine debris program. After contacting CSIRO they told us that this card was released at 33°17' south, 115°03' east, about 26 kilometres north of Cape Naturaliste on WA's south west coast on the 27th March 1976. It was one of 50 released at this point. Their records show that only 6 had been returned before this one. This type of Drift Card had been used in Tasmania, NSW and WA since the 1950s and originally offered a 30c reward for those returned to CSIRO. By the 1970s this reward had increased to 70c which is the offer for the card that was found in Ellensbrook! Might just pay for the postage to send it back to CSIRO these days!

The release was part of a science voyage carried out on the RV Sprightly as part of a study on the movement of crayfish spawn. That means that this plastic card has been out there somewhere for 36 years. Just confirms that plastics even this thin are extremely persistent in our environment.

Emu Beers at 2012 WA Beach Clean Up!

2012WABCU CansLong term Tangaroa Blue volunteer Owen O’Shea tells of an interesting find this year at Yanchep, a cache of unopened Emu Export steel cans buried in the dunes.

 "After having been involved in beach clean ups under the inspirational banner of Tangaroa Blue for some years now, there isn’t much scope left for unpredictability in the annual West Australian Beach Clean Up. Nevertheless, it is a great cause and having been involved in its organisation for the past few years, I always try and keep it interesting by offering a prize for the most unusual item recovered. While there are always the same old generic finds; children’s toys, clothing and fishing gear, one of the most common finds are alcohol containers, both bottles and cans. However, this year something a bit different was uncovered – twice. While scouring the beach at Yanchep, about 50kms north of Perth, a mate of mine, Alexis, was digging out cans of beer from the side of a sand dune that had been significantly eroded due to the recent inclement weather. However, what made it even stranger was the fact that these cans were part of a whole carton (we recovered over 20 cans), all neatly stacked on top of each other, all still full and severely degraded, but made of steel with an older style logo – EMU EXPORT. The cans were so old they broke up as they were pulled from the sand and were difficult to discern certain wordings, such as best before dates. We knew they were old, but how old?

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2012 WA Beach Clean Up Wrap Up

2012 10 14 SmithsEven though some parts of WA were hit by winter storm fronts the weather did little to dampen spirits as the 2012 WA Beach Clean Up got underway over the middle weekend of October. Volunteers were out in force cleaning up our beautiful coastline as part of the annual state-wide event and beaches from Broome through to Esperance and out to Cocos Island have been given a spring clean with large volumes of debris being removed from the WA coastline. 

Broome's Town Beach saw volunteers collecting over 53 kg of rubbish off what looked at first glance to be a relatively clean beach. 

William Bay volunteers near Walpole had a record haul of 92kg, most of it coming from Eagles Nest, a stretch of coastline that has not been targeted by clean ups in the past.

Reports have come in from right around the state. 60kg of rubbish was removed from Yanchep Beach, over 100kg from Deepdene Beach near Augusta, 20kg from Castle Bay near Dunsborough, 50kg from South Cottesloe and another 20kg from Ledge Point.

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Winter Time Cleanups in WA

20120731-BoranupWinter time cleanups were once again carried out at Deepdene and Boranup as part of the ongoing monitoring of marine debris on these remote south west beaches. University of Western Australia students from Currie Hall spent a number of days in the Margaret River region carrying out volunteering work on coastcare projects.

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