Marine Trash Turned into Coastcare Treasures

Coastcare Week got off to a creative, colourful and happily trashy start in the Cradle Coast region of Tasmania with a display of marine sculptures made using plastic bags, bottles, cans, fishing line and other rubbish collected from local beaches. Students from six schools transformed the debris into 40 imaginative sea creatures in Cradle Coast NRM’s Schools Marine Debris Sculpture Competition to raise awareness of the need to Keep the Sea Free of Debris.

Competition winners were announced today at a special presentation to mark the beginning of Coastcare Week 2011 which is celebrated around Australia from 5 to 11 December to recognise the work of community volunteers in caring for their coast. The sculptures provided a colourful backdrop to the regional launch which was also attended by guest speaker, Peter Whish-Wilson, Tasmanian Chair of the Surfrider Foundation. Mr Whish-Wilson teaches environmental finance at UTAS and is planning a PhD on the economics of marine plastic pollution.

Competition organiser and Cradle Coast NRM Facilitator, Karina Rose, was impressed by the students’ participation which included beach clean-ups, recording of debris collected and conversion of the results into educational pieces of art. “Students were surprised at how much rubbish ends up in the sea and were very keen to recycle their findings into art that could be used to educate others,” Mrs Rose said. “A record of the rubbish that they’ve found has also been sent to the National Marine Debris Project Database so that organisations such as the Surfrider Foundation have data upon which to plan their coast care volunteer activities.”

Coastcare Week events are open to everyone and a calendar of what’s on in the Cradle Coast region can be downloaded from

Coastcare Week Marine Debris Sculpture Competition – prize winners

  • Overall winner: Prep to Year 12, School of Special Education with the entry: “Seahorse in the wild”
  • Most Marine Debris Collected: Grade 3/4 DA, Wesley Vale Primary School with the entry: “Be the Solution to No More Ocean Pollution”
  • Best Educational Message: Grade 5/6D, Forth Primary School with the entry: “Trish the Trashy Trout”
  • Best Presentation: Alexander Simpson, Grade 5, Table Cape Primary School with the entry: “A Plague of Putrid, Poisonous, Plastic Jellyfish”

Group or Class Entry

  • 1st Prize – Prep to Year 12, School of Special Education – “Seahorse in the wild”
  • 2nd Prize – Grade 5/6, Table Cape Primary School – “Sea a clean, free future”
  • 3rd Prize – Senior Group, School of Special Education Devonport – “Beach Litter Triggers Disaster”

Grade 6

  • 1st Prize – Sarah W and Aneeka Hall, Boat Harbour Primary School – “Sea bee bee bee”2nd Prize – Sarah Parry, Boat Harbour Primary School – “Mr Crab”
  • 3rd Prize – Sarah Panzich and Tempany Zeuschner, Boart Harbour Primary School – “Shimmering Starfish of the Sea”

Grade 5

  • 1st Prize – Lily MacMillan, Devonport Primary School – “Be a protector, not a polluter”
  • 2nd Prize – Cody Griffin, Boat Harbour Primary School – “Mr Pufferfish”
  • 3rd Prize – Zoe Williams, Devonport Primary School – “Sickly Starfish says Stop!”

Grade 4

  • 1st Prize – Cameron Banbridge, Boat Harbour Primary School – “Snips”
  • 2nd Prize – Charlotte Phillips and Salia Gibbons, Devonport Primary School – “Sting the bad things”
  • 3rd Prize – Hugo Berryman and Max Hanlon, Boat Harbour Primary School – “Mr Blob Blob”

Grade 3

  • 1st Prize – Daniel Matthews and Alec Nichols, Boat Harbour Primary School – “The Shark”
  • 2nd Prize – Sage Hefferon Brown, Boat Harbour Primary School – “Whale with a Tail”

Grade 2

  • 1st Prize – Rowan Watson, Boat Harbour Primary School – “Prawn”
  • 2nd Prize – Jorja Edwards, Boart Harbour Primary School – “Turtle of the Sea”.

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