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Beach Patrol

Local eco group finalists in three Victorian awards

News Article Date: 
Wednesday, 18 September 2019

As well as cleaning up South West beaches, volunteer group Beach Patrol 3280-3284 could clean up in a range of major awards.

The group is a finalist in the Keep Victoria Beautiful Tidy Town Awards and the Parks Victoria Environmental Sustainability Awards while group founder Colleen Hughson is a finalist in the Premier’s Sustainability Awards.

The winners of all three awards will be announced in October.

Beach Patrol 3280-3284 is a group of volunteers who commit at least one hour each month to cleaning up local beaches, with a number of members carrying out daily clean-ups. They also raise community awareness about marine debris and collect data which can help trace litter to its original source.

The group encompasses the “Good Will Nurdle Hunting” and “Pick Up Sticks” local initiatives.

Over the past year, Beach Patrol 3280-3284 has collected more than 650,000 nurdles (small plastic pellets used in manufacturing) from the region’s beaches while also submitting 295 beach clean-up entries into the Australian Marine Debris Database.

Ms Hughson said that she hopes the award nominations would help bring the issue of marine debris to the fore.

“We are very excited to be nominated because it is a chance to acknowledge all the hard work of volunteers, schools and businesses in the Warrnambool area who are taking a stance on marine pollution and single-use plastics,” she said.

“Together we have achieved amazing things and I believe we've only just gotten started. There is great energy and enthusiasm in the community to create positive change. 

“It’s also an opportunity to talk about the litter issues in our community and work on them. 

“Many people dislike litter and are very concerned by the amount of plastic, particularly microplastics, washing up on our beaches. We are no longer blind to it. We are talking about it and we are working on source reduction strategies for local litter issues.”

Warrnambool Mayor Tony Herbert congratulated the group on its success.

“Beach Patrol is an organisation that Council is proud to support and this award nomination is worthy recognition of their continued efforts to make our beaches a better place,” he said.

“Our vision for Warrnambool is to be a cosmopolitan city by the sea, it’s at the heart of everything that we do.

“As well as cleaning our region’s beaches, Beach Patrol catalogues everything they find to help identify the source of the material.”

Sabina Wills, CEO of Keep Victoria Beautiful said she was impressed with the level of local community participation in the Tidy Towns Awards.

“These awards are a great way to celebrate the good work that occurs all year round in our communities,” she said.

“Often this work goes unnoticed and unrewarded, so this is an opportunity to acknowledge the valuable contributions that have been made by individuals and groups.”

For more information about Beach Patrol 3280-3284 and to get involved, visit www.beachpatrol.com.au.

 

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