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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.

Some interesting and unusual finds have been recorded. A midden of old steel Emu Beer and Fanta cans were found in the sand dunes at Deepdene Beach near Augusta which date back at least 20 years, what was amazing is that the high erosion this year also uncovered a similar midden of this time full Emu Beer cans at Yanchep! Guess someone forgot where they hid their secret beer stash!

A huge thank you is extended to everyone who helped out this weekend, to all the tireless volunteers, especially the clean up site coordinators who worked hard to make this event a success. Here are some comments from the crews on the ground:

"We had a fantastic beach clean up yesterday... we got heaps of rubbish and really enjoyed it!  All the kids got involved, they absolutely love our 'clean up' days... makes them feel great knowing they have done something awesome for the environment." Christy at Trigg Beach, Perth.  

“We did our clean up on Turtle Nest Beach and covered over 300m of the area. We were lucky, the day was beautiful….. warm, sunny and fresh breeze! We even found a small bar fridge! Thank you for the opportunity!”Hamidah from the Shire of Cocos Keeling Islands.

“We conducted ours a little bit differently and did 4 beaches clean ups over the two weeks of the school holidays. We had a good turnout of about 15 kids per clean up. Cigarette butts and plastic items were the most commonly found items. We decided this year to use some of the plastic bottles we collected or that the kids brought in with them from their units to conduct an art activity afterwards to make some jumping jellyfish. We then put these masterpieces on display in our gallery space in the Salt Store. The activity was really well received by the holidaying guests.” Nathan from the Rottnest Island Authority.

Pat and the team from the Underwater Explorers Club of WA were due to clean-up under Busselton Jetty with the help of The Dive Shed Busselton: “but unfortunately the weather wasn’t at all kind and instead we walked a nearby beach – from Ford Road heading in the direction of the Marina.  We walked for a couple of kilometres and back along the pathway in between showers.  Not as much rubbish as in previous years I’m pleased to say, but we still managed to collect, lots of plastic wrappers, cans, bottles – heaps of broken glass on the path unfortunately – and assorted items.  Not as many cigarette butts as in the past either. Thanks to Tangaroa Blue Foundation.”

The Perth Scuba Crew hit South Mole Fremantle on Sunday 14th October, with over 45 volunteers to clean up the foreshore and underwater. “Our Perth Scuba coordinator for the event was our Instructor Josh Phillips who did a great job of directing the volunteers to clean up the area. The crew pulled out bags upon bags of rubbish from the ocean, including a huge assortment of glass bottles, plastic bottles & bags, wire and even a garden hose! The shore support crew found plenty of plastic bottle tops, aluminium cans, broken pieces of plastic, cigarette butts and even condoms (EWWW!) in the sand dunes. The guys and girls did a great job, and we’re very thankful the rubbish is no longer there to hurt the local non-human inhabitants. The weather conditions weren't fantastic with a high swell and moderate winds to contend with - the divers did a great job of cleaning up and looking after themselves.”

“Hi Fellow Beachcombers, Last Saturday the Prevelly Penguins did their annual trek from The Margaret River mouth to Joey’s Nose, a very beautiful walk of 4km, over Cape Mentelle and along Kilcarnup Beach and were lucky with good dry weather. The usual commercial cray pot bits were the biggest pieces along with an old tyre, but the most exciting was a green Southern Bluefin Tuna tag. Looks like Wally the White Pointer has gobbled up the bearer of such tag and Renee has promised to keep us informed on the science behind their use. Very well organised by all concerned – congratulations!” Bryan from the Prevelly Penguins.

Tangaroa Blue was thrilled by the support from volunteers around the state – awesome job everyone and don’t forget to mark down the 2013 WA Beach Clean Up in your calendars – 12th & 13th October, 2013. See you on the beach!

The 2012 West Australian Beach Clean Up was proudly supported by Tangaroa Blue Foundation, Coastwest, Keep Australia Beautiful Council, South West Catchments Council, WA Department of Fisheries, WA Department of Environment and Caring for our Country.

A full report on the event will be available on the website in the coming months.