This year’s ‘Bay OK Day’ was held on April 5th and organised by Dunsborough Primary School. The event saw a beautiful day with a range of interactive marine educational workshops for the children to get involved with. The event was attended by organisations such as GeoCatch, DEC, SWCC, Surf Lifesaving and Fisheries WA.
Tangaroa Blue Foundation focused on the importance of collecting data from beach cleanups; emphasising the power in scientific data when mitigating the issue of marine debris. A range of different items commonly found during beach cleans were presented to the students and with the aid of the Tangaroa Blue Foundation’s Marine Debris Identification Manual the data was recorded in small groups.
The exercise reinforced the recognition that most marine debris found on beaches is made from plastic, and the implications of this were discussed. The harm potential of specific items such as whole strapping bands and cylume glow sticks were highlighted to the students.
There were three groups of students throughout the event that visited the Tangaroa Blue Foundation workshop. The final group did a brief 15 minute beach cleanup at the end of the session. They found 373 items; the most common items were plastic bags of which they found 160. Of the items found 87% were from land based sources, for example beach users, while only 13% were from sea sources.
The enthusiasm that the students had for the marine environment was very impressive. Many had previously been involved in beach cleanups and they had a range of issues that they wanted to discuss. It is highly evident that events such as the Bay OK Day are helping to ensure that the next generation care about the future of our marine ecosystems.