Clean Up Australia Day Success

A huge thank you to our seven clubs who participated in Clean Up Australia Day on or around the 7th of March. See reports below:

Hunter Valley Paddlesports Club:

We had a great lot of helpers for our Clean Up Cockle Creek morning. Everyone worked hard and a huge amount of rubbish was collected.

Thanks to C Kayak Belmont for donating some generous prizes. The grinning winner of the paddle was Carl Croal who was also named the biggest collector of the morning.

Thanks again to Lake Macquarie City Council and Clean Up Australia Day organisers in supporting Clean up events.

It is astounding how much rubbish we see dumped and thrown into the creek and banks.

– Sally Verheul

Kayak Central Coast Social Paddle Group

On Sunday March 7th a group of ten kayakers from the Kayak Central Coast Social Paddle Group took to the water with a goal to clean up Fagans Bay, Gosford, for Clean Up Australia Day. Each of them donned their gloves and lifejackets pulling over 20kgs of litter and debris from the water’s edge. They piled it into an empty kayak which was towed along as a rubbish barge and disposed of it once back at Gosford Sailing Club, taking the recycling with them. Among the rubbish were containers, plastic bags, straws, packaging, Styrofoam, a deck chair and tennis balls of all different sizes.

The KCC paddle group are ecologically minded and have a strong appreciation for our local Central Coast community, waterways and environment. A kayak allows us a unique opportunity to clean up and explore areas of our waterways that are not accessible by boat, car or foot. The KCC group is planning to continue running regular clean up paddles across the Central Coast to keep our waterways beautiful. If you know of any local waterways which need a clean up please get in contact.

For more info contact Andrew (Trip Leader): andrewgib9@gmail.com

Lane Cove River Kayakers:

Like cockroaches scattering when the lights turn on, 21 Lane Cove members scurried in all directions as part of Clean Up Australia Day on Sunday. Downstream from the footbridge on both sides, the hard-to-get-to-nook downstream from the timekeepers, the not-often scouted far bank opposite the pontoon and upstream as far as Wirong, the worker bees bent down thousands of times to collect the rubbish and ferry the bags back to base. The car park, athletics area and gutters near the shed also got their share of attention. The end result? 130kg of junk that inexplicably found its way into the river or communal areas that now has no chance of clogging up our favourite waterway.

There were less plastic bags on account of new supermarket rules and probably less plastic bottles on account of previous clean-up visits, but any enthusiasm that things are getting better was dampened by the appearance of the usual milk crates, rusting steel dumped on the banks and ubiquitous styrofoam. There was no cash discovered this year and perhaps the most peculiar item was a swag of faded letters for postage delivery (no sign of the postie or their bike) located by Dave Hammond and son Thomas. And after years of false hopes, this year we actually did locate two time trial number boards for the first time (92 & 112). The morning was topped off again by chef Justin Paine (and Kenji Ogawa 2IC) with a complementary BBQ brunch.

CUA at LCRK has been running for at least 15 years, and judging by Sunday’s enthusiasm I gather it has at least another 15 years to run.

Thanks to all who were able to help, with many backing up from the Windsor marathon the day before; Wade Rowston, Merry Sugiarto, Rodrigo Matamala, Trevor Nichols, Richard, Alex and Ben Yates, Naomi Johnson, Duncan Johnstone, Chris and Robert Johnson, Ian Wrenford, Dave and Thomas Hammond, Lee Wright, Li Xin, Jeff and Laura Hosnell, Justin Paine, and Kenji Ogawa.

– John Duffy LCRK President and CUA

Macquarie River Paddle Club:

The paddle went very well. Three of us, Jack McRae, John Sykes and myself, paddled from West Dubbo Lions park downstream towards the North Weir. We found quite a lot of old bottles under the willows and a couple of fish traps. Not many new bottles, which may mean the new storm water traps are working well. We filled a wheelie bin with the rubbish we found!

– Andrew McKay

Nigel and Beatrice Weekes:

Unable to do Sunday, we collected rubbish on Sat 06 March. A simple early walk netted 2kg (12 litres), then an afternoon canoe paddle on the Myall River with some riverbank walking netted 3kg (25 litres). Total for the day was 5kg (37 litres).

There were two of us involved, both morning and afternoon, total walking: 1.5 hrs, total paddling: 1 hr, with “Old Town Guide 147” used as a “ute”. We were surprised at how little rubbish was visible on/from the water, in the total of two kilometres of shoreline inspected. Usual observations in many locations yield a whole lot more. We were loosely working with “Great Lakes Adventurers”.

– Nigel and Beatrice

Shoalhaven Canoe and Kayak Club:

At Shoalhaven Canoe and Kayak Club we decided to focus on one of our local waterways as part of Clean Up Australia Day. We paddled Bomaderry Creek covering the 1.5km section from the highway bridge down to confluence with Shoalhaven River.

It is great to report that there was surprisingly little rubbish in the creek, we pulled out about two bags worth in total including some ‘antique’ beer cans!

Venturing onto the Shoalhaven River, we identified some significantly larger items for removal that will require another trip down in an open canoe at very low water to remove!

– Andy Halliday

Western Paddlers NSW:

Members of Western Paddlers NSW joined forces with the Wellington Community Progress and Action Group (WCPAG) in targeting a stretch of the Macquarie River upstream of the town of Wellington.  Launching at the low level crossing on Falls Road, three boats of two competed to fill bags supplied by Clean Up Australia Day organisers.

Fantastic weather and ideal river conditions made for easy paddling and garbage retrieval, and plenty of smiling and laughter.  The find of the day was by Paige Dashwood who through dogged perseverance hauled from twisted willows, a freezer door.

Five of the six floating participants are relatively new to paddling, and are keen to do more clean up paddles! Participating paddlers where Bron Powell, Yakubu Daffi, Lilly (from Press café ), and Sophie, Paige and Jarod Dashwood.

Thanks to Emmalee Holmes and WCPAG, who worked the shoreline adjacent to the Duke of Wellington Bridge where the paddle ended.  Together the groups managed to fill a truck organized by Dubbo Regional Council. Also supporting the event was Dubbo Photo News who ran a story about the paddle the week before plus sent a photographer to capture the day.

– Jarod Dashwood.

River Canoe Club

Everyone who’s ever taken to the water with a paddle has benefited from the health and beauty of our local waterways.

By definition, paddle sports rely on the environment around us. But it isn’t always obvious how we can connect our paddling fun back to this ‘bigger picture’, or do our part to contribute to the oceans and rivers that we so enjoy.

The River Canoe Club is working to bridge this gap by creating an active leadership role for the paddling community in environmental stewardship. Our approach is twofold: help clean up litter from our waterways, and try to make sure fewer pollutants reach them in the first place.

This March, the Club hosted our third annual Cooks River Clean Up and Paddle Against Plastic. The Clean Up is a fun, engaging, and rewarding community event, where we welcome paddlers old and new to help us remove rubbish from the river. This year, 687kg of small plastics was removed by 120 people in canoes and kayaks!

It’s inspiring to see our community come together to help leave the river cleaner than we found it. And our Club volunteers make it all possible with their amazing work behind the scenes, from loading boats to sanitising paddles to keeping people safe on-water.

As in previous years, our partners at Ocean Crusaders travelled down from Queensland to help remove larger rubbish from the Cooks. Over three intensive cleaning days, they removed a whopping 2.6 tonnes of street rubbish, as well as enough large items to fill their cleaning barge each day!

But just removing rubbish will never be enough to solve the problem by itself. That’s why we’re also working closely with community and council partners on a Litter Prevention Strategy for the whole of the Cooks catchment. We’re excited to be leading on a project that will help stop litter at its source: before it makes it into the waterway.

So far, we’ve been collecting knowledge from up and down the river about where litter comes from and what is being done to fight it. In the coming months we’ll identify specific actions to help reduce litter, and work with councils and community on how best to implement them. We have set a target to reduce litter 50% by 2025. It’s ambitious, but if we work together we can reach this goal and make a huge difference to our beautiful river!

The River Canoe Club is always keen to collaborate with other clubs working in the environmental space, or help to get similar initiatives off the ground. We were thrilled this year to take part in another Paddle Against Plastic hosted on the nearby Georges River. Our litter project is funded through a NSW EPA Community Litter Grant; and we have been able to undertake cleaning work with funding and support from local councils, Sydney Water, and like-minded community groups.