News flash

18/06/2013

This Saturday, the Hunter-Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority is having a day at Tighes Hill Public School to train people in identifying marine debris. I’ve seen a flyer, but can’t find it on line, but here’s the words:

Residents of the lower Throsby Creek catchment regularly see litter building up among the mangroves along the creek, particularly at Smedmore Cove on the Carrington side of the Hannell St bridge. While the mangroves trap the litter here temporarily, the  tides dislodge it and carry it out to sea, where it endangers the lives of sea birds, turtles and other marine  life.
The Lake Macquarie-Newcastle arm of Ocean & Coastal Care Initiatives (OCCI) have been invited to train interested residents in collecting and surveying litter that has gathered in the Throsby Creek catchment and assist them in adding their findings to a national database as  part of the Australian Marine Debris Initiative.
By doing this we’ll not only be improving the amenity of  natural areas in our neighbourhood, and potentially  saving the lives of marine animals, we’ll also be contributing to a national picture of marine debris on our  coasts and building a case for action from manufacturers and retailers of the products regularly found in our  waterways.

The training is this Saturday, 22 June 2013, from 9.00 am – 1.30 pm. Venue is Tighes Hill Public School; morning tea and lunch provided.

If you’re interested, contact Ingrid on 0405 761 593 or email <lake.macquarie.newcastle@occi.org.au>.

I’ll be there. Might see you too!


Froggy!!!

20/02/2013

Reed beds and mangroves are often described by natural resource management people as the “kidneys” of our estuaries, filtering out the rubbish in the freshwater system before it hits the ocean. If that’s the case, then the mangroves around the Carrington board walk must be ready to go on dialysis. I was down there the other day, taking a stroll with the Jambo and The Wife. The state of the place is enough to make you weep.

mangrove_litter_feb13-1

The vast majority of the litter that ends up in our waterways, and hence our reeds and mangroves, consists of discarded plastic drink bottles. Which makes the challenge by Coca-Cola Amatil, Schweppes and Lion Nathan to the NT’s container deposit legislation hugely galling. As though these guys aren’t making massive enough profits from fizzy water with sugar in it? (You can sign the GetUp! e-petition supporting the NT Government here if you’re up for it.)

mangrove_litter_feb13-2

The Styx is the collection point for several smaller creeks and waterways. Hunter Water subbies out the job of picking up the bottles, syringes, polystyrene cartons and other junk to a private company. I see the guys often, out with their whipper snippers on the banking, doing emu bobs with garbage bags or in thigh waders down by the TAFE. They do a sterling job but, in the face of the tsunami of litter that thoughtless people send their way, they’re always going to be fighting a losing battle. I mean, look at this from a couple of months ago:

ugly_mess_18-11-12

But amidst the gloom, a small moment of … well, not exactly happiness, but certainly surprise It was Froggy! The last time I saw this little guy was in August 2012, by the railway bridge.

mangrove_froggy_w_jambo

Somehow he’d managed to hitch a ride on a flood down past the TAFE, under the Maitland Road bridge, down the Throsby and into the Carrington mangroves. He’s a survivor!

Though of course he’s a survivor because he’s made of non-biodegradable unobtanium or something. So, hmm. Maybe I shouldn’t have been so pleased to see him after.

(But I was pleased really!)