St Bernard’s boys doing their bit

St Bernard’s boys have been hard at it again, doing their bit for the beaches and rivermouths around the Great Ocean Rd in Victoria.

So much rubbish out there,choking up our water ways and beaches, so we all have to keep doing our bit, get on board and help the boys out.

Like many months in the past – the boys collected over 2,500 plastic remnant pieces along with the rest of their haul!

Victoria’s Spectacular Surf Coast!

Over the last few months the boys at St Bernards College, Santa Monica Campus have been scouring the Surf Coast to keep it clean and set a good example for all the other schools out there.

From Johanna Beach to Aire River mouth near Cape Otway, to Cathedral Rock near Lorne we have been filling bags full of rubbish that has either got caught in rocks or simply washed up on shore. Our work has finished for the year but you can be assured that St Bernards will be back next year to try and do our part to keep our beaches clean!

Saint Bernards College students have removed debris from Victorian’s spectacular Surf Coast every month during the school year since 2009, recording all their findings for the Australian Marine Debris Database! Tangaroa Blue would like to thank all the students and teachers for their long-term commitment to improving the health of their local environment and being such awesome role-models for their community!

Winter along the Surf Coast!

Report from the Santa Monica Campus – St Bernard’s College

It’s been a stormy winter down here, with big swells accompanied by big tides – meaning a lot of the debris is being washed out to sea then deposited again further along the coast. We have concentrated on the river and creek mouths as they tend to be litter traps, both for ocean debris and rubbish being washed downstream from further inland. This week we also returned to Johanna Beach in the Great Otway National Park, as the last time we walked this section of beach on an expedition we spotted heaps of debris – much of it trawler netting, crates and rope.

Rope, rope and more rope!

In fourth term, students form St Bernard’s Santa Monica Campus ventured down to one of the beautiful remote stretches of coastline in Victoria. We centred our clean up on the beach at Aire River and monitored the debris over a two month period. While the high tide mark was littered with the usual amount of small plastic pieces we concentrated most of our time and energy on the large rock shelves at either end of the beach. Here we found a huge amount of rope and fishing gear, all deposited and tangled in the rocks at the high tide mark. We used knives and even garden loppers to untangle and retrieve as much as we could on both trips. All of the ropes, about 200 metres in all, were synthetic, meaning they would take decades to break down. It’s pretty clear from what we found that fishing trawlers are responsible for most of the debris washing up on these beaches. There was a lot of netting as well as bait baskets and floats. We will continue to monitor this stretch of the coast during late summer and autumn next year.

Santa Monica ramps up large scale clean-ups!

During term three the Santa Monica boys undertook two large-scale clean-ups, one close to home (between Cathedral Rock and Grassy Creek) and one further afield (Johanna Beach, near Cape Otway) along Victoria’s stunning surf coast.

Once again we were staggered by the amount of debris we collected and collated from the two sites. Both areas are open to the big winter swells that hit the west coast of Victoria, so a lot of the debris appeared to come of fishing boats or larger ships. At Johanna, in particular, there was a lot of rope and plastic bottles, as well as the usual amount of smaller plastic pieces along the high tide mark. Between Cathedral and Grassy Creek we collected a lot of styrofoam, much of it broken up boxes. This term will see us take on the monumental task of Station Beach, immediately to the west of the Cape Otway lighthouse. We will report back with our “catch” later in November.

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