Summer low tides present the perfect opportunity to see marine life up close in exposed rock pools and on wide open sand flats. But it’s not just marine treasures that come to light – there’s plenty of trash too.
This week Landcare volunteers joined with the Eurobodalla Marine Debris Working Group to scour the mangroves along the north bank of the Moruya River. Eurobodalla Council’s environmental education officer Bernadette Davis said extreme low tides provided an opportunity to get into usually hard to reach areas.
“We had quite a few storm and flood events during 2020, with street litter washing into the river system,” Ms Davis said.
“Apart from being unsightly – who wants to live in a tip – some of that litter can cause damage or even kill marine animals and birds. That’s why it is so important to determine where the litter comes from – then we can stop it at the source.”
The volunteers removed over 25 kilograms of trash from the mangrove area east of the Quarry Wharf, which included 21 beer bottles, 24 plastic drink bottles and 25 aluminium cans.
“Those are now all headed for recycling. The good news was we only found one plastic shopping bag – quite an improvement on previous years,” Ms Davis said.
“We record all our marine debris findings onto the Australian Marine Debris Database. That way we can track litter trends and put in place educational and infrastructure projects to address them at their source. Anyone can access the database, which is very easy to use thanks to a handy phone app.”
For more information or to download the app, visit the Marine Debris Working Group page on Council’s website at https://www.esc.nsw.gov.au/living-in/natural-environment/get-help/marine-debris-working-group.
Above: Jane Enright and Lyn Bain clear Moruya River mangroves of litter.
Above: Helen Ransom, Jane Enright and Robyn Casey sort litter into categories before recording the information in the Australian Marine Debris Database.