River Rescue

The Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (NACC) recently celebrated Clean-Up Australia Day at Chapman River Regional Park in collaboration with Chapman River Friends (CRF) and the City of Greater Geraldton (CGG).

The event – supported by NACC, through funding from the Australian Government – was co-hosted by BCMI student Cameron Perret with the aim to help him develop a unique set of skills with a direct link to conservation work being undertaken within the Midwest region and more broadly throughout Australia.

Personal account from Cameron Perrett (BCMI Student)

Sunday, March 5 2017, saw Clean Up Australia Day descend on Chapman River Regional Park.

The morning was made possible by the collaboration between Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (NACC), Chapman River Friends (CRF) and the City of Greater Geraldton (CGG).

The role of Co-Site Supervisor was undertaken by myself, Cameron Perrett with support from NACC’s Biodiversity Coordinator Jessica Stingemore. I am currently completing my Diploma of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) at Central Regional TAFE’s Batavia Coast Maritime Institute (BCMI).

Through NACC’s close relationship with CALM students the opportunity to undertake the role was presented to me.

Over the past 27 years Australians have volunteered over 32 million hours to Clean Up Australia Day. These heroes have donated their time to remove litter from our streets, bushland, parks and waterways. This has resulted in an estimated 344,000 ute loads of rubbish being either recycled or disposed of thoughtfully.

As astounding as those figures are I am going to let you all know about our group of local heroes.

All 62 of them.

These 62 energetic volunteers who gave up just a few hours on a beautifully humid Sunday morning to clean up their piece of paradise; the Chapman River Regional Park.

This park is an invaluable natural resource within our city. Events like this promote the unique biodiversity found within and promote protection and preservation of the park for future generations.

Following an informative brief about the park’s biodiverse landscape from CRF’s Jenna Brooker the troops were given their instructions. These were simple; be conscious of the environment, be aware of yourself and others and most importantly, have fun! (Who wouldn’t have fun using BBQ tongs to pry rubbish from under a prickle lily?)

It wasn’t long before the first bag was full and a couple of smiling kids came running for a replacement. Seeing all the enthusiastic kids doing their part for our park put a huge smile on my face. They are the future and if their appreciation of our park can grow from what I witnessed there then I am sure the park is in good hands.

There were people on the water on a SUP and kayak dragging all kinds of nasties out. A man on a bike did a whole loop of the mountain bike trail and found a curtain. With all the golf balls found we could have set up a pro shop!

From all 62 volunteers 38 bags were filled with every type of rubbish (almost) imaginable. That’s 115kgs in total!

This was all transported to BCMI to be sorted by students on Tuesday. Sorting the collected rubbish into categories such as chip packets, PET drink containers, glass alcoholic beverage bottles and soft drink cans provides Clean Up Australia and the CSIRO with invaluable information regarding our site and an overview of the whole event on a national level.

Following a fun filled morning of organising rubbish and finding amusing amounts of fast food packaging, the numbers were in and we had some totals.

  • 155 alcoholic beverage aluminium cans
  • 52 aluminium soft drink cans
  • 116 PET plastic drink bottles
  • 55 alcoholic beverage glass bottles
  • 138 supermarket plastic bags
  • 32 straws
  • 1 tyre

Once finished all recyclable materials were placed in order according to areas on campus.

Through conversations with my fellow students during the sorting process it was clear that they were not overly surprised by the amount of single use items that were collected. There was a solid message coming from this group; we need a container deposit scheme.

I am proud to say I was involved with the amazing team of local heroes who volunteered their time to ensure our Chapman River Regional Park is here for future generations to enjoy as much as I do.

Everyone who was involved with Clean Up Australia Day anywhere in this great country should be immensely proud of themselves and the contribution they have given to the success of the day.

P.S: Could everyday be Clean Up Australia Day?

 

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1 comment

Thanks for the update on the Clean Up activity, Cameron.
155 alcoholic beverage aluminium cans, 52 aluminium soft drink cans, 116 PET plastic drink bottles, 55 alcoholic beverage glass bottles
hmm Geraldton residents perishing easily-but unwilling to take drinking vessels home or place in rubbish bins.

Thanks also to the 62 energetic volunteers!

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