The annual coast clean-up
12th August 2015
The 12th of August was the Wednesday group’s 3rd annual coast clean-up day, this time in the Titahi Bay area. Luckily for the approximately 50 club members, after a week of very cold wet weather, the wind finally dropped and the sun shone brilliantly.
arg Pearce organised the programme and liaised with the Porirua City Council. The ramble, easy, easy-medium and medium groups met at the carpark at Shelly Bay Beach at the north end of Whitireia Park, Titahi Bay. This group left the equivalent of about 25 bags at the carpark for the council to dispose of in a more appropriate place.
Marg walked the medium group of 11 on a walkway over to Te Onepoto Bay, an inner bay which is semi-lagoon. “The rubbish there was utterly disgusting, plus it was very heavy as it was soaked into the reeds and mud, so it was difficult to carry more than one bag - another five bags, at least, could have been collected there,” she said.
The rest of this group of 15 people pretty much filled a bag each from the Shelly Bay/Onehunga Bay area. Being popular with the public, this area included quite a lot of ‘land-based’ rubbish as well as small mainly plastic pieces that had broken up in the sea and washed in.
Thirteen members of the medium fit group met at the entrance to the Porirua Sewage Plant. From there we climbed down a steep track to the shore near Round Point and Te Korohiwa Rocks and travelled south past Open Bay to Rock Point, about 5 km each way. Each of us filled two rubbish bags mostly with plastic that had washed ashore; several filled a third bag, plus a bucket and fish crate of rubbish, along with bigger trash like a broken surf board. Some bags were very heavy. Some members of the group were very strong, carrying 3 or 4 bags as well as their day pack.
Altogether we collected about 60 rubbish bags or equivalent. That’s roughly 6 bags per km – imagine how much there must along our entire coastline! Interesting items included a toothbrush plus toothpaste, a cell phone, cigarette lighters, golf balls, $10, a waka paddle, paint stirrer, and a quality screwdriver. One long section of black polythene pipe was found to be housing a fairly large family of weta. But it was sad to find a dead swan, seal, albatross and penguin.
Most of the rubbish was plastic material. Anyone who saw the National Geographic Exhibition photo of the stomach contents of an albatross that died of starvation because its stomach was choked full of plastic will realise what a threat this sort of material presents.
Everyone involved said they were keen for a repeat next year. David Ogilvie
- Party members
- David Ogilvie (leader and scribe).