This year SURG not only participated in the Clean Up Australia Day activities but also used the garbage collected to investigate the types of rubbish that have landed up in Coffs Creek.

This study followed the research of Toby Ekman, a Southern Cross university student, who conducted a study in 2014 to investigate the effectiveness of pollutant traps in the creek. SURG’s clean up used the same methodology as Toby with 30 volunteers collecting garbage at 6 locations along the creek.

Clad in gumboots and gloves this group scoured through the mangroves to collect the debris. Back on shore this was then sorted and recorded according to its type, size and location. All sorts of garbage were collected from frying pans, bins, parts of cars to a huge quantities of glass bottles, plastic wrappers and storage containers.

Participants were amazed and also disappointed at the huge quantity of garbage collected – 14 bags of recyclable rubbish and 13 bags for landfills.

Larger items are unsightly but the smaller ones have the potential to be ingested by marine animals in both the creek and the ocean. Check out the report of our Clean Up day at the ABC.