The Herald on Sunday is campaigning to get all of New Zealand out on the beaches this summer, keeping them clean for our kids and our grandkids. We'll be out with our rubbish bags - and we want you and your family to join us.
The crew of Kiwi sailing ship the Spirit of Adventure has nailed its colours to the Beach Busters' mast.
Forty youngsters from the famous boat joined volunteers at Tutukaka Harbour yesterday for a big beach clean-up over Waitangi weekend.
The kids hit the beach in a small fleet of river rafts, swelling the ranks of clear-up squads backing our campaign to get New Zealanders out tidying the coast this summer.
The main clean-up event is tomorrow, but Spirit of Adventure Trust boss Dean Lawrence said his crew couldn't wait to get stuck in.
"The rise in plastics turning up in the sea and on our beaches in recent years has been very disappointing," he said.
"As part of our 10-day youth development voyages, our kids stage their own beach clean-ups as a way of learning how important it is to look after the marine environment.
"The ship's present crew were keen to help with the Beach Busters campaign," Lawrence said.
The Spirit of Adventure Trust celebrates its 40th anniversary this month.
"On every voyage the youngsters are required to make a report about their beach clean-up.
"We have found a lot of clothing, textiles, bags, bottles, gas canisters and foil trays on our travels," Lawrence said.
"Probably the most disappointing thing is the number of batteries we pick up from the beaches and seabed.
"These things are terrible for the environment and it's time people started taking more care."
Meanwhile, more than 100 people signed on to join our Beach Busters clean-up at Orewa last Sunday.
The volunteers removed a total of 4241 pieces of rubbish. Nearly half that tally was food-related (1964 items), of which food wrappers were dominant (1036 items).
Other main offenders were rope (404 pieces) and cigarette butts and packaging (288).
"The results showed that a high number of beachgoers are littering during the summer months," Sustainable Coastlines leader Sam Judd said.
"It is great that we had such a good response, because the prevailing southwesterly winds would have blown a lot of this rubbish into the ocean next time they came up."
After tomorrow's big clean-up at Sandy Bay, Northland, the next event is at Mt Maunganui, on February 18-19.
Finders don't want to be keepers
Beach clean-up squads are scratching their heads at a set of lower false teeth found washed up on the shore at Stanmore Bay, Whangaparaoa, last April.
Experts at Proudmouth dentistry in Auckland reckon the upmarket dentures are from a set made for someone aged 60-plus.
The dentists aren't sure if they belong to a male or female but estimate a similar pair would cost about $4000-$5000 new.
Were they lost on the beach or did they perhaps fall overboard from a boat?
"Someone must have noticed they were missing," Sam Judd from Sustainable Coastlines said.
* * *
YOUR CHANCE TO WIN BIG
Win a camera every week
Take a photo of your friends or family cleaning up your favourite beach and go in the draw to win a Sony Cyber-shot TX10, valued at $649.95. With an Underwater Sweep Panorama function and 16.2 Mega Pixels you'll be able to take stunning underwater photos, as well as crystal clear shots on land. We have one camera to give away every week for the next 10 weeks to the person who takes the best photo, as judged by Herald on Sunday illustrations editor Chris Marriner. Five runners-up will each receive a copy of the book Beached As - New Zealand Beaches Then and Now by Craig Levers.
At the end of our Beach Busters campaign, the overall winner will receive a grand prize package comprising:
* a Sony Tablet S valued at $749.95
Entries close each week at Friday noon, and the winning photo will be printed each Sunday. So get snapping, and email your best shot as a JPEG to email@example.com with 'Beach Busters' in the subject line. Make sure you include your name, address and daytime phone number. Include a caption giving the place and full names of the people in the photo.
Please see terms and conditions at www.nzherald.co.nz/HOScompetitions. APN New Zealand reserves the right to store electronically any pictures entered in the competition and to use the images in any of its publications.