Home-school students tackle Clean Up Australia Day at Hutt Bay

This year we decided to return to our regular stretch of coastline at Hutt Bay to tackle marine debris for Clean Up Australia Day. As part of our workshop series at this reserve, members of the local home-school network joined us for the event on 25 February. As this was the first get-together the home-school network had had for a while, we had a bumper turn out of about 60 people and 14 families!

Despite the challenging wind, we ventured out with gloves and bags to gather rubbish from the beach. Jess and I also explained any interesting natural items we found, like kelp holdfasts and cuttlefish “bones” with teeth marks.

Now in its fourth decade, Clean Up Australia collects data annually about the amount and types of rubbish collected by volunteers. The data is provided to state and federal governments and the CSIRO, as well as used in the organisation’s advocacy for waste management reform. So after returning from the beach, the students helped us sort the rubbish into piles (grouping all the rope, bottles, etc) and we counted the items to record on the report form. The strangest thing we picked up this year was a chunk (approximately 50 x 20 x 15 cm) of what appeared to be part of a memory foam! mattress!

Some of the rubbish collected from the beach at Hutt Bay as part of Clean Up Australia Day 2022

A big thank you from us and our marine wildlife to all the home-school parents and students for your help.

The Hutt Bay Wetland Reserve workshop and working bees project is supported by the Coast Protection Board through the Coastal Community Participation Grant.

Rose Thompson