Monday, May 28, 2012

2012 Wrap

The 2012 edition of the South West Coast Marine Debris Cleanup saw the crew of 19 battle the biggest swells and roughest conditions we have ever experienced. It is a credit to the skippers of the Velocity, Chieftan G and the Breaksea that we were able to make it to the west coast and back and safely access the beaches. During the trip swells rose to over 9 metres and the enthusiastic crew were still keen to clean beaches in 50 knot winds and torrential rain despite numerous cases of sea sickness. In total 27317 items were collected off six beaches totalling around 3 tonnes. In material terms 94% of the rubbish was plastic comprised mainly of rope, bottles and miscellaneous plastic pieces and 2.5% was metal mainly as aluminium cans. Small pieces of plastic, caps and lids continue to be found in increased numbers and these along with small pieces of rope and bait box straps accounted for over 83% of the rubbish items collected. This year the team recovered a back breaking 11,253 items from the beautiful Stephens Beach just south of Port Davey. This beach is exposed to the highest wave energies in Australia and had not been cleaned since 1999. It was a long day for all walking to and from Stephens Beach from Spain Bay, cleaning it from end to end, dragging the rubbish to either end of the beach and then counting the rubbish late into the evening. Thankfully for the crew we were able to access the beach by dingy and we didn’t have to haul the 24 bags of rubbish and assorted loose ropes 2.5 km back overland. The more unusual items found on the shore this year included a chocolate Easter Egg still in its foil wrapper, a Toaster Oven, a Baby’s Bottle and matching pair of walking boots. Once again there was rubbish from all corners of the globe including a Brazilian Water Bottle, numerous Japanese, Chinese and Korean oil and food containers, fishing buoys and trawl nets. Detailed descriptions of the trip along with some photos can be found on our blog site and on the adventure educational website Expedition Class. This year's cleanup was gratefully supported by Dave Wyatt of Southern Ocean Adventures, as well as local fishermen Kent Way, Darren Clark, Pat Leslie and a volunteer crew of 19. Patagonia Australia and Pennicott Wilderness Journeys are the major sponsors providing generous ongoing financial support for fuel, boat charter, food and kitting out the team with appropriate clothing. Gillespie's Ginger Beer, The Wursthaus, The Wursthaus Kitchen, Moobew, Miellerie Honey and the Hill Street Grocer also donated high quality produce to keep the crew provisioned for the week-long trip. The project is run under Wildcare in conjunction with National Parks. The cleanup has now been running for over ten years and we are looking forward to another successful cleanup in 2013

Micks Cleanup Flick

Micks great Cleanup flick - Thanks mate