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Tyred out: Seaweek starts with a clean-up!

Tyred out on Sunday – Seaweek starts with a clean-up!

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Wharekauhau group struggle with tyres at Onoke Spit (taken by Amanda Cosgrove, DOC)

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Jenny Whyte leads some volunteers (taken by Amanda Cosgrove, DOC)

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DOC staff, Chris Lester and Garry Foster, struggling to remove a tyre from the spit (taken by John Rhodes)

4 February 2007

Tyred out on Sunday – Seaweek starts with a clean-up!

Old tyres topped the list of more than two tonnes of trash collected from South Wairarapa’s Onoke Spit during a beach clean-up on Sunday to mark the start of Seaweek

Around 40 brave souls withstood biting winds to systematically seek out and remove rubbish from the spit, a nationally valuable coastal environment, with diverse plant species, a threatened native moth, rare red katipo spiders and nesting Caspian terns.

Families from Lake Ferry, 4-wheel drive club members from Wairarapa and Wellington, Greater Wellington Regional Council volunteers, Department of Conservation staff, and a large number from the Wharekauhau Lodge took part in the clean-up. It yielded around 50 tyres, gumboots, a baby chair, a fridge, an LPG cylinder and an enormous pile of rope and fishing line that had to be dragged clear.

“The vast amount of rubbish they collected was quite amazing!” says DOC biodiversity ranger Jenny Whyte.

“It’s great to see people out doing their bit for conservation and Seaweek was the perfect opportunity to get out to an isolated stretch where biodiversity values are so high. Nothing could fly in the wind that we experienced, but I’m sure the birds will be grateful to have their homes back without the rubbish when they return.”

DOC area manager Chris Lester says tyres made up the bulk of the rubbish collected. He believes they had both floated down the river and been washed up from boats in the area.

“The amount was so substantial that we had to leave a stack to be collected another day by volunteers from Wharekauhau Lodge. Their contribution was substantial and appreciated.”

The lodge also hosted the volunteers for a post-clean-up barbeque, at a site with less wind and spectacular views.

“It was a great start to Seaweek in the Wairarapa and we now look forward to other smaller events happening in the area,”says Chris Lester.

They include a popular colouring-in competition being hosted by the Masterton Library and a visit to Pirinoa School to talk about their local seals.

Seaweek 2008 (March 2-9) with the theme One Ocean - It starts with me Kotahi Moana, Ka timata mai i ahau, highlights the impact that our lifestyles have on our beaches and marine environment, and encourages hands-on involvement in marine protection

For more information on Sea Week go to www.seaweek.org.nz.


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