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Residents urged to clean up Waipu Bay

MEDIA RELEASE 20 August 2013

Residents urged to clean up Waipu Bay and stop the destruction

‘Let’s Keep New Zealand Beautiful Together’ nationwide litter clean-ups will come to Waipu Bay on Saturday 24 August. Residents are encouraged to lend a hand and clean up the bay and help stop discarded rubbish from finding its way into our waterways and destroying this special environment.

Run by Conservation Volunteers New Zealand, the clean-up is one of ten held in the Bay of Plenty. Part of a nationwide initiative, the aim of the programme is to educate and encourage Kiwis to re-duce, re-use and re-cycle – all thanks to Keep New Zealand Beautiful, Coca-Cola Foundation Beverage Container Recycling Community Grants.

“The ‘Let’s Keep New Zealand Beautiful Together’ litter clean-ups create a better understanding of rubbish and its effect on our environment, waterways and even our own health,” says Conservation Volunteers New Zealand’s Auckland Projects Officer Bridie Gough. “Discarded rubbish eventually finds its way into our water ways with toxins entering the eco-system and affecting wildlife in the area. We can all do our bit to stop the damaging effects of litter.”

All are welcome to come along to the clean-up. The meeting point is at the end of the car park at Totara Street, by the boat ramp at 9.30am with a finish time of 12.30pm. Participants are asked to wear long sleeved shirts, long pants and strong sturdy shoes as a safety precaution.

Marine litter, particularly plastic, has a major impact on wildlife with animals becoming entangled or mistaking the litter for food, eating the plastic and feeding it to their young. As the plastic breaks into small fragments in the water it leaches potentially toxic chemicals into our seas, threatening our ocean wildlife and us.

“Some plastics will not break down in the lifetimes of the grandchildren of the people who threw them away,” says Gough.

Cigarette filters are also commonly mistaken for food by many animals. The toxic chemicals from discarded cigarette butts found in our water supply has been estimated at concentrations of around one cigarette butt per 7.5 litres of water on this earth.

Bay of Plenty residents are encouraged to make positive environmental changes by visiting www.alittlealot.org.nz and making a personal pledge such as recycling, re-using, walking instead of using a vehicle, getting involved with conservation projects with your local community and many more.

Rubbish collected will be sorted and where possible recycled, then weighed and audited so the Tauranga City Council and other local organisations can be informed about where our rubbish comes from.

Conservation Volunteers New Zealand run conservation and environmental programmes including habitat regeneration, enhancing our waterways and protecting New Zealand’s special habitats and wildlife.

Founded in Australia in 1982, Conservation Volunteers expanded operations to New Zealand in 2006. Today, Conservation Volunteers is a leader in delivery of practical conservation programmes, community involvement and a range of training programmes involving over 12,000 volunteers across Australia and New Zealand every year.

For more information visit www.conservationvolunteers.co.nz.


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