After the weekend we just had, marked by a huge amount of community effort, it is safe to say that Geraldton’s beaches are right now probably the cleanest in Western Australia.
More than 100 people participated in NACC’s fourth annual Geraldton Big Beach Clean Up last Sunday, returning with bags and bags of rubbish that left our beaches looking spotless.
The Big Beach Clean-up kicked-off on Sunday morning when volunteers gathered on the town beach to register and take-in a beautiful Welcome to Country conducted by Donna Ronan – supported by a didgeridoo performance by her son Leroy Shiosaki.
After a quick induction everyone headed-off to their favourite beach to clean-up every speck of rubbish and piece of marine debris that they could find.
By mid-morning, the veritable army of people were streaming back to the Clean-up HQ with their bags filled with all sorts of rubbish. The next task was getting the mountain of rubbish sorted – which was made all the more pleasant thanks to the soothing sounds of local musicians Alexia Parenzee and Archie Bunker.
Every piece of rubbish and marine debris was recorded, with the data destined to be dispatched for further analysis by coastal and marine environmental charity Tangaroa Blue.
The rubbish is entered-into and monitored through the Australian Marine Debris Initiative database, which creates a comprehensive overview of the amounts and types of marine debris that is impacting beaches all around Australia.
The final tally for the Geraldton Big Beach Clean-up showed the determined bunch of Geraldton volunteers collected more than 300 kilograms of rubbish and marine debris in just two hours – an amazing achievement. The further break-down of this rubbish data will appear in a final report on WA’s 2017 Beach Clean Up Day later in the year.
Once the rubbish collecting and sorting was done, participants kicked-back and enjoyed a tasty sausage-sizzle BBQ provided by the local APEX Club and expertly cooked by staff from the Batavia Coast Marine Institute. Other refreshments were made available by the team at the Geraldton-Greenough Farmers Market van.
Adding to the festival atmosphere were lots of young children, who ran amok on the ‘Bump and Jump’ bouncy castle or got their face painted by Fairy Deb (who channelled her inner mermaid on the day) who created some fantastic face painting artwork.
There were prizes and games galore, with the lucky winner of NACC’s participant feed-back survey – Lois Garner – taking home a dinner for two at Salt Dish.
You can still take part!
If you missed-out, and would still like to help keep our beaches clean, then it’s not too late. The 13th annual WA Beach Clean-Up is still open and anyone interested can register to carry-out their own clean-up with Keep Australia Beautiful. Those interested can collect bags and gloves from the NACC office (in Geraldton or Jurien Bay) any weekday.
Thank-you to all the partners who helped make the event such a success, particularly a generous donation from the Bendigo Bank Geraldton community-support program. Thanks indeed to all of the sponsors and supporters mentioned in the graphic below.
For more information, please contact NACC Coastal & Marine Project Officer Vanessa McGuiness at Vanessa.McGuiness@nacc.com.au or on 9938 0108.