Beach Patrol 3193 Ricketts Point – won the organisation award in honour of its work protecting the Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary.
What do we do?
We are a voluntary group, affiliated with Marine Care Ricketts Point. We meet on the first Saturday of each month, at 11 noon through all months of the year, to remove litter from the foreshore area, mainly within the Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary limits. All welcome - bring your own gloves and buckets.
What kinds of litter do we collect?
Any plastic items – bottles, lids, bags, fragments, straws, fishing line. Metal or glass containers and cigarette butts.
Why do we remove litter?
- Plastic items enter the food chain via the marine environment. Plastics break down into smaller and smaller parts. They can persist in the environment for centuries. Plastics act like sponges and absorb contaminants in sea water, notably heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium. Impacts of plastics on the whole food chain are not yet known. 95% of litter in Port Phillip Bay comes from the stormwater drains across metropolitan Melbourne.
- Fragments and larger plastic items are ingested by birds, mammals and aquatic life, such as fish and seals. Some sea birds ingest and regurgitate these items to feed their young. They are indigestible, the toxins cause illness and the sharp edges can tear internal organs. For example, post mortems of Flesh-footed shearwater birds on Lord Howe Island indicate that 95% of these birds have some plastic in their stomachs and young chicks have so much plastic in their gut they cannot survive.Metal and glass objects present a risk of injury to beach users and potential risk to aquatic life, not to mention the unsightliness.
- Cigarette butts – cigarette filters are designed to accumulate smoke components including toxic chemicals, such as cadmium, lead, arsenic and zinc. Littered butts leach these chemicals out, polluting surrounding soil and water. An estimated 350,000 cigarette butts enter Port Phillip Bay every day. Most have been dropped in the streets in the Bay’s catchments and are washed into the stormwater system by rainfall and then into the bay.
How can I find out more about Other Beach Patrols?
Go to www.beachpatrol.com.au