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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Clyde clean-up a win for penguins

The shire has a new face in the fight to protect the region’s waterways. Clyde the penguin is fronting the campaign, raising community awareness about the impact of litter and weeds on Eurobodalla’s environment in general and the Snapper Island’s little penguin colony in particular.

Council’s natural resource supervisor Heidi Thomson said Snapper Island was “a really good indicator of Clyde River pollution”.

“We’re running the Clean Up the Clyde campaign in partnership with Eurobodalla’s Landcare network using an Australian Government Communities Environment Program grant of $20,000,” Ms Thomson said.

“Snapper Island, because of its situation at the mouth of the Clyde River, is a really good indicator of what is going on in the river. We’ll use the money to clean up the Clyde and to install more nesting boxes for our local penguins.”

Environmental project officer Lily Berry said as well as community groups, four nearby schools had also come on-board.

“We’ve got the Sunshine Bay and Batemans Bay Public Schools, St Bernards, and Bay High involved with education campaigns and quarterly clean-ups of the local stormwater catchments leading to the Clyde estuary and beaches,” she said.

“All the sites are within walking distance from school and the kids will be collecting and then logging plastic pollution into the national marine debris database. That helps us figure out where the litter comes from so we can target prevention at the source.

“There’s even a chance some of the kids can make the trip out to Snapper Island and help clean-up while getting up close with the penguins and other shorebirds nesting there.”

Gilmore MP Fiona Phillips presented the Clean Up the Clyde partners with the $20,000 cheque at Sunshine Bay Public School on Thursday 20 February and said the project would help create a renewed sense of community belonging after the bushfires, contributing to a sustainable future and caring for local wildlife.

“It is wonderful to see Eurobodalla Landcare engaging with local school children to deliver this great project aimed at protecting our local breeding colony of the little penguins,” Ms Phillips said.

Sunshine Bay teacher Elisabeth Ison said Council’s campaign aligned with her school’s aims.

“Short Beach Creek runs the school perimeter and flows straight into Caseys Beach. School ground rubbish could end up there,” Ms Ison said.

“With this project, children learn geography and they learn civic responsibility – the impact of individual actions.”

Above: Gilmore MP Fiona Phillips with Rebeka, Daniel, Bailey, Halle, Alex, Bella, Jellienne, Emma, Danny, Pierce, Alisha, Indria, Bennnett, Mesa, Diana at the Clean Up the Clyde launch.

Above: Council’s natural resources supervisor Heidi Thomson, environmental project officer Lily Berry, Jellienne, Halle, Bailey, Gilmore MP Fiona Phillips and Landcare coordinator Emma Patyus at the Clean Up the Clyde launch.

Above: Sunshine Bay teacher Elisabeth Ison, Council’s natural resources supervisor Heidi Thomson, Gilmore MP Fiona Phillips, environmental project officer Lily Berry, Landcare coordinator Emma Patyus and councillor Jack Tait at the Clean Up the Clyde launch.

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