Rubbish hauled off beaches

By Peter de Graaf

A small army of volunteers collected two truckloads of rubbish - everything from fishing line and nappies to a 40-gallon drum - from Bay of Islands beaches on Sunday.

The beach clean was organised by environmental groups Bay Bush Action and Fish Forever to coincide with Keep New Zealand Beautiful Week.

The 46 participants scoured 9.4km of coastline from the Waitangi River mouth via Paihia and Te Haumi to Opua, with other volunteers targeting bays at Okiato and areas of track and roadside.

Fish Forever campaign manager Catherine Langford said it was an "amazing effort". A whopping 720 litres of bagged waste was carted off in one load and the other included a rusting 40-gallon drum, plus bottles, cans, plastic waste, broken glass, disposable coffee cups and boat detritus.

Te Haumi - where volunteers also found a soiled nappy - appeared to be in use as a dog toilet.

Perhaps most concerning was the large quantity of fishing line and nets, Miss Langford said. Nylon did not break down and became tangled around seabirds and seaweed.

She was pleased to see many children among the volunteers, helping make it a fun family day out.

Beach clean-ups would become a regular event, she said.

- Northern Advocate

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