The City of Cockburn’s aim to reduce litter entering the coastal environment has received a boost with a Keep Australia Beautiful Council (KABC) grant for the second consecutive year.
From this October, the City will use its 2020/21 $5,000 KABC grant to run a fishing litter reduction program called Clean Ocean Clean Catch, centred around fishing hotspots along the Cockburn coast.
Last year’s Clean Ocean Cockburn program prevented up to 3 tonnes (think 9+ bottlenose dolphins) of rubbish entering Cockburn’s coastal environment.
This included 6,000 litres of litter binned as part of the inaugural Clean Ocean Cuppas program made possible with a 2019/20 $4,145 KABC Community Litter Grant, recruiting eight coastal cafes to give out 600 free cuppas in return for a bucket of litter.
This year's grant will help fund 24 bins and multilingual signage near popular fishing haunts along the coast to help fishers and other beach visitors bin their rubbish before it ends up in the ocean and surrounding dunes.
City of Cockburn Waste Education Coordinator Clare Courtauld said recreational fishing items like fishing nets and rope were in the top 10 items found among 2.1 tonnes of litter collected during beach clean-ups in Cockburn between 2013-2017.
“Data from the Australian Marine Debris Database shows 62,878 items of litter with a total weight of 2.1 tonnes were collected at beaches from C.Y. O’Connor to Ammunitions Jetty at Woodman Point from 2013-2017,” Ms Courtauld said.
“Encouraging behaviour change around litter along the Cockburn coast will help meet objectives of the City’s Coastal Litter Action Plan, to remove rubbish from the City’s beaches to protect coastal ecosystems.
“The program will educate and encourage participation in binning fishing waste and reporting those who litter, with emphasis on keeping the ocean and marine fauna clean and healthy.
“The City will collect information via monthly bin audits by Community Waste Education Officers to assess weight, type and source of litter.
“Each assessment will also include the number of people fishing at each location and the type of litter observed in the vicinity.
“Our waste education officers will also hold community surveys to understand the values and behaviours of the fishing community to help improve future litter reduction programs in the area.”
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