Seaweek takes aim at South Auckland's dirty coastline

Encouraging people to get involved in a massive community clean-up in South Auckland this Saturday are Sustainable ...
Chris Harrowell

Encouraging people to get involved in a massive community clean-up in South Auckland this Saturday are Sustainable Coastlines schools liaison officer Jodi Pretscherer and community education manager Ryley Webster.

People who care about their environment are invited to get their hands dirty.

Numerous events are running across South Auckland until March 18 as part of the annual Seaweek​ ecological programme.

Among them is a community clean-up of the Manukau Harbour, including spots in Mangere Bridge and Weymouth, from 11am-3pm this Saturday.

It's organised by Sustainable Coastlines and the Manukau Harbour Restoration Society.

Sustainable Coastlines community education manager Ryley Webster says he wants as many people as possible to get involved.

"We've got six locations around the harbour where people can come and get a rubbish sack and gloves to clean up the coastline.

"Then throughout the day they can do as much or as little as they want.

"This is the first time we've done this but we hope to have it happen every year."

The organisation's schools liaison officer, Jodi Pretscherer​, says volunteer helpers can expect to pick up a wide range of rubbish.

She's arranged for pupils from several Auckland schools to participate.

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"They will find jandals, loads of single-use plastic, food wrappers, parking tickets, straws, and plastic bottles," Pretscherer says.

Webster says the most common items found on the coastline are things small enough to fit easily down a storm drain. They then work their way through streams and end up on the coast, he says.

"I've found Kiwis have a sense of connection to their coastlines but two or three streets back, where they park their car, they don't have the same sense of connection," Webster says.

"People don't take enough caution or realise rubbish thrown on the ground ends up in the ocean when it rains.

"It's about getting them to connect with their local coastlines and think how decisions they make on a daily basis impact the area they're enjoying."

More than 80,000 people took part in about 70 events in Auckland and 200 around New Zealand as part of Seaweek last year.

People keen to take part in the Manukau Harbour clean-up can meet between 11am-3pm this Saturday at the Mangere boating club in Kiwi Esplanade, Mangere Bridge, or at Weymouth Rugby Football Club in Gibbons Rd.

Go to seaweek.org.nz for details.

 - Stuff

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