this year, the team at Sydney Boat Hire decided that we would take a few hours out of our day to head down to Five Dock Bay boat ramp and clean up litter.
The idea came about when our vessel operators had noticed the overwhelming amounts of plastic and rubbish that was washed up on the ramp when they launch our self drive boats. While the NSW Maritime Environmental Services operates 7 days a week to help clean the waters and foreshore of Sydney Harbour, the amount of litter in our oceans sadly means that there is always a job to do and a way to help out.
Our first clean up was only supposed to be a once a year event, however after experiencing what a difference we made in just a few hours, the team decided that once a month we would help to clean up our local community.
Since our original clean up for World Environment Day and World Oceans Day, we have done 2 more monthly clean ups, and are set to have our 3rd this weekend.
At each event, we are always surprised as to what is washing up on the boat ramp. Generally, we see a lot of; bottle caps, plastic wrappers, plastic straws, cigarette butts and water bottles. On some occasions, we have found; syringes, spray cans, a plastic tray, among other things that should not be polluting our oceans.
It is always astounding to us just how much rubbish ends up in our oceans and on our shores. Since starting our monthly cleanups, the team at Sydney Boat Hire has become more mindful of our consumption and how we dispose of our rubbish.
We are extremely grateful to live in a city that provides its residents with the resources and educational tools to be environmentally friendly. The City of Sydney has created a website called ‘Garbage Guru’ that allows people to search how to properly dispose of their rubbish. From old fishing line to a beach ball with a hole in it, there is no excuse for your rubbish to end up in our environment.
Taking our clean ups one step further, we have decided that we will begin recording data on the rubbish that we collect. The data collected will be entered into the Australian Marine Debris Database. This database was created to enable volunteers and organisations to collect data on their findings with a consistent methodology that can then be standardised into a national database. The database collects information such as; the time, date and location of the cleanup, the number of people involved, the number of bags filled, approximate total weight of bags, and the length. Since 2004, more than 7 million pieces of data have been inputted into the database.
The team at Sydney Boat Hire are excited to get involved in our community by inviting everyone down to the Five Dock Bay boat ramp to help clean up. In the future, we are hoping to expand our area of the cleanup to include more of the bay run once more people have gotten involved.