Get beach ready – the right way!

Out with the old in with the new – Spring is here!

Now is the time to declutter your wardrobe, and why not do the same for your favourite beach?

The annual West Australian Beach Clean Up event is back in Geraldton next month and we need your help.

The event, coordinated by Tangaroa Blue Foundation, aims to tackle marine debris found along beaches in the Northern Agricultural Region.

About 260kg of rubbish was collected from more 14 kilometres of Geraldton beaches at the inaugural event last year and found that the majority of items were either pieces of plastic or fishing gear.

NACC Coastal and Marine Coordinator Dr Mic Payne said that the large amount of debris found on Geraldton’s beaches was often residue washed in from storms and large swells.

“Plastic in particular is a huge threat to Australian marine life such as seabirds, dolphins, whales and turtles,” Dr Payne said.

“It’s the small things that do the most damage; for example small items of plastic eaten by seabirds and fed to their chicks have a devastating effect on breeding seabird populations.

“Even simple things like clear plastic bait bags can be eaten by turtles mistaking them for jellyfish.”

Information will be collected on the assortment of debris and rubbish picked up on the day and will be submitted to a state dataset where it will be further analysed.

Dr Payne said the ongoing collection of data would be a valuable tool to help identify the sources of local environmental contaminants which would then be prevented from entering the marine environment.

According to Tangaroa Blue Foundation, about 18,000 pieces of plastic currently litter every square kilometre of our oceans.

The event will commence at the Geraldton Foreshore on Sunday, October 18, between 9.30am-1pm. The morning’s program will include educational displays and presentations, a BBQ lunch and live music..

Everyone’s invited to attend the event or to help spread the word. For example you can join the conversation on Twitter, simply by adding the #WAcleancoast hashtag.

If you would like to volunteer or for more information, please contact Felicity Beswick, NACC Coastal and Marine Project Officer (P) 9938 0108 or (E)

This year’s event is jointly organised by NACC, Batavia Coast Maritime Institute, Apex Club of Geraldton, Drummond Cove Progress Association, Point Moore Coastcare, Sunset Beach Community Group, Champion Bay SLSC, Veolia Environmental Services, Department of Water, Midwest Ports Authority and supported by the City of Greater Geraldton.