14 tonnes in 12 months and the debris keeps coming

When you cruise down the Brisbane Waterways just north of Sydney, the river looks relatively clean, but when you start to have a look in the mangroves the real marine debris story reveals itself.

On March 27th, the Brisbane Waters Foreshore Program headed out from Woy Woy to continue the removal of litter and oyster traps from the mangrove areas adjacent to Woy Woy Railway Station, Pelican Island saltmarsh and the northern mangroves.

Students from Umina and Woy Woy Campus’ Enviro Group and Support Unit were out in force, joining local oyster growers and Tangaroa Blue’s Heidi Taylor for a morning cleanup event which pulled out 2.26 tonnes of debris!

The peak high tide allowed the craft to land on the foreshores adjacent to the railway station, ,and individual groups were successfully filmed, working with Heidi Taylor from Tangaroa Blue for documentary filming of the work that students are completing, in removing litter from Brisbane Water.

This area has had three prior field trips removing litter. Previous flooding rain deposited large amounts of residential litter, washed into the bay from sites including the stormwater drain at Carrera Bay(no sediment control on this drain). Large amounts of small items were uncovered from beneath dead seagrass (plastic lids and wrappings). Abundant plastic bottles were found consistently along this foreshore (1250 collected). 300 beer bottles found stacked south of the train station. Furniture removed near the “jetty”.

Metal railway line ‘plates’ removed (very old). Railway signal metre removed.
Saltmarsh area on Pelican Island revealed plenty of small litter (plastic bottles), on the tide marks.
The Northern foreshore mangroves, surveyed the day prior, revealed plenty of oyster products (176 baskets and trays), also television and bulk rubber product.
Falling tide ceased this clean-up, with the two barges returning to unload.
95 full bags retrieved by the group, and abundant bulk items.
2260 kilos of rubbish unloaded in two trips by the Gosford Council truck.
5723 individual items collected, with Heidi Taylor utilising digital recording, during the off load.
Amazing task completed by the volunteer students, teaching staff, oyster growers and boat drivers.

Published by