Our region has been hit be an early blast of summer lately… and it has been great. As the mercury hit 30 degrees all roads led to the coast as thousands escaped Melbourne and Geelong to catch a few waves and get in a early summer swim.
By the end of the weekends sunburnt bodies drove back to Melbourne leaving… a bunch of crap on our beaches. Sad to say but we humans can have spotless lounge rooms but have the capacity to leave all manner of rubbish including cigarette butts, plastic bottles and nappies YES SOILED NAPPIES… on our beaches.
This has been going on for a very long time but fortunately there are plenty of community groups on the coast who do their bit to keep our waves and beaches clean. One of the biggest community coastal groups is the Surfrider Foundation. Founded in the USA they came to Australia in 1991 and now have over 15 branches and beach representatives around the country.
Locally Surfrider Foundation Surf Coast is highly active. Recently they held their annual beach clean up at iconic Bells Beach which attracted over 30 people who spent two hours walking the Bells Beach Surfing Reserve picking up marine and other litter from the beach, carpark and tracks.
Each week somewhere around the country you will find a branch of Surfrider Foundation doing the same thing whether its Manly, North Narrabeen, Port Kembla or Double Island Point in Queensland where Surfrider Foundation Sunshine Coast camp out for the weekend end picking up tonnes of rubbish from the beach and coastal strip.
20 years ago Surfrider Foundation initiated the Remote Marine Debris program in Tasmania and received significant funding to fly members into remote beaches on the West Coast of Tasmania so that the could pick up marine debris and litter. Helicopters were use to fly the members and rubbish back to Hobart for recycling. Surfrider Foundation Tasmania found so much rubbish on very remote beaches that they had to come back the next year and retrieve it all.
We have some fantastic beaches on the Surf Coast and Bellarine Peninsula. Our community is so lucky to have groups like Surfrider and the various Coast Action and ‘Friend Of’ groups that do an incredible job helping to keep our beaches clean for everyone to enjoy.
If you love our beaches and want to find out more about how you can help protect them, check out the following website – www.surfrider.org.au.
By John Foss