Musician Jamie McDell to partner with Sustainable Coastlines to clean up Hauraki

Sustainable Coastlines is partnering with Contiki and musician Jamie McDell to do a clean up of Motuihe Island in the ...
LAWRENCE SMITH / FAIRFAX NZ

Sustainable Coastlines is partnering with Contiki and musician Jamie McDell to do a clean up of Motuihe Island in the Hauraki Gulf at the end of February.

Kiwi songstress Jamie McDell is not afraid to get her hands dirty for a good cause.

McDell is partnering with local charity Sustainable Coastlines to clean up the beaches of Motuihe Island in the Hauraki Gulf.

Keeping the ocean clean is a cause close to McDell's heart. She has been surfing, swimming, sailing and diving from a young age, and wants to make sure future generations can enjoy those activities in a pristine ocean.

"It's really scary to me to think those are things I'm not going to be able to experience as beautifully as before, and things the generation after me won't be able to see as well."

McDell's eyes were opened to the issue of plastic pollution in the ocean on a trip with Contiki, who are also sponsoring the Motuihe Island clean up.

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She collected rubbish from a remote beach in Australia, and was shocked by the amount of plastic littering the sand.

"We turn up to this beach and it was just really heartbreaking to see how much plastic debris was there. It was something I'd never seen before, and that's when it really hit me just how much came from the ocean, it wasn't from the nearby houses or the public there, it was something that had come directly from the sea."

McDell was looking forward to bringing that experience back to her native country for the Sustainable Coastlines event.

"It's really cool that I could kind of bring that experience back to New Zealand and then spread the message out to my following and hopefully allow them come and see that sort of thing for themselves," she said.

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The Sustainable Coastlines event is scheduled February 24. McDell and around 45 volunteers will be ferried out to the Motuihe Island for free by Fullers, where they will comb all the island's beaches for rubbish.

When that's done they will return to Sustainable Coastlines education centre in Wynyard Quarter and be rewarded with an acoustic concert by McDell.

The charity chose Motuihe Island because it is one of several in the Hauraki Gulf where rubbish from Auckland is washed up by the city's dominant south-westerly winds.

"Any of those islands that are facing that prevailing wind, that flow ... all of them are getting rubbish out of the city," Sustainable Coastlines CEO and co-founder Sam Judd said.

He said the group was "humbled" to be working with McDell and to have Contiki's sponsorship to back the event.

"We're really stoked with this Motuihe event because I think it's a clever way of using the influence that musicians have to improve the behaviour of the public. It's a great collaboration in that it enables us to reach people that we might not reach otherwise. It's using talent to motivate people to do something good," he said.

Judd said he expected tickets to the event fly out the door, so volunteers should get in quick.

 - Sunday Star Times

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