INDEPENDENT NEWS

Miramar Wharf Clean-up 30th October 2016

Published: Thu 3 Nov 2016 09:13 AM
Plastic Free Peninsula Press Release
Miramar Wharf Clean-up 30th October 2016 9.30am - 12.30pm
On Sunday, Plastic Free Peninsula teamed up with Wellington Underwater Club (WUC) to remove around 2,000 litres (50 sacks) of rubbish from under and around Miramar Wharf. 55 shore crew from Worser Bay School families collected approximately half a cubic metre of rubbish from grass and beaches along Shelley Bay Road. 8 divers and 5 shore crew from Wellington Underwater Club concentrated on removing man-made rubbish from beneath the sea.
Eddie Howard from Island Bay Marine Education Centre helped identify sea creatures as each can was cut apart to check inside, before the cans were put into rubbish sacks. Animals found included fish, limpets, sea cucumbers, chitons, starfish, a tiny octopus and a glass shrimp.
While using special equipment to raise the heavier items of rubbish, the divers were joined by a friendly seal that swam and jumped out of the water around them for some time.
Among the bigger items brought up were a shopping trolley, bike, traffic cones, tyres and a chair, as well as a large metal device that would have been used to scrape shellfish from the bottom of the harbour.
The shore crew found mostly food packaging, including drinks cans, plastic bottles, straws and wrapping. Vicky Holben and her son Edward decided to see how many cigarette butts they could pick up in 15 minutes - they filled both a bottle and a takeaway cup to the brim in this time.
Almost the first thing found was a starfish with a light bulb.
Sadly, WUC estimated that there is still around 6 times as much rubbish still remaining in their dive area. But working together, these groups have made a positive difference to the local coastal environment. More clean-ups are planned for the future.
We're very grateful for the help of Sustainable Coastlines, who provided sacks and gloves, and Wellington City Council who picked up the rubbish, and all the crew on the day who cheerfully helped out on a chilly Sunday.
Notes: Plastic Free Peninsula is a community group that aims to reduce single-use plastic in Miramar. We have held a movie night, spent a week creating re-useable shopping bags out of pillowcases and ties at Worser Bay School, and previously held a shore clean that removed over 150kg of rubbish from Miramar Peninsula.

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