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Big clean up of Tasman Bay beaches this Saturday

November 5th, 2012
[DOC press release]

Hundreds of Nelson-Tasman locals will be carrying out a spring clean of Tasman Bay beaches this Saturday (10 November) in the third annual Big Beach Clean-up.

Rubbish is cleared from around 300 kilometres of shoreline between Abel Tasman National Park and Cable Bay in the Big Beach Clean-up, organised by the Department of Conservation in partnership with Nelson City Council, Tasman District Council and NELMAC Ltd.

Volunteer groups are still sought to clear rubbish from four of 51 beach-clean sections. The four are classed as more difficult, requiring people with reasonable capability and fitness and in one case a boat. The four sections are the Nelson Marina, Pepin Island, the Motueka River mouth and the Mariri estuary coastline. Any groups that can take on these sections should contact DOC's Motueka Area Office, phone 528 1810.

In the event of very bad weather this Saturday, the beach clean-up will be postponed till the following day, Sunday 11 November. Organisers will contact team leaders directly if the day is to change.

DOC Acting Motueka Area Manager Brian Paton said it was great to have so many volunteers caring for our coastline and making it more enjoyable for people and safer for wildlife.

"It's tremendous that local people are showing how much they value our beautiful beaches by giving them a spring clean in readiness for summer.

"Groups taking part include workplaces, families, sports and social clubs and environmental groups. Participants feel good about helping to remove beach rubbish and have fun doing it.

"Rubbish-free beaches are better for people and better for wildlife. Rope, packing strap, fishing line and netting can tangle seabirds and seals, impeding their movements and feeding, sometimes drowning or strangling them. Plastic bags and wrapping can be ingested by birds and whales, mistaking them for food, and can cause them slow and painful deaths."

In the first Big Beach Clean-up, in November 2010, 10.4 tonnes of rubbish was collected. Last November, six tonnes of rubbish was cleared from beaches.


Comment and photo by Malcolm Garrett:
[Posted 11 November 2012]

Great day out for all concerned today, on the Big Beach Cleanup, as our group tackled the difficult task of accessing Jackett Island. So near and yet so far away, unless you have boats to get there.

Luckily we made good friends with islanders, the Jewells, who not only helped us with their dinghy, but assisted us to get our sacks of rubbish gathered up from points around the island.

Our party was made up of children and adults, plus some grandparent class, from St Peter Chanel parish. We all had a great time, in six teams, exploring the shorelines.

We were amazed to find so much decayed plastic bag material washed up on the high tide mark in sheltered areas. Others found wrecked surf boards, and scraps of building materials.

All had a happy day, and would probably do it again. The chocolate fish at the end were an appropriate reward. Thanks to Brian, Bruce, Paul, and Kerry for their great support on the day.

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