On Friday 2 December 2016, our friends from SC Johnson and a crew from Sustainable Coastlines, led by Fletcher Sunde headed out to Tahuna Torea, a unique city-based wildlife reserve situated on a long sandbank extending into the Tamaki Estuary in Glendowie, East Auckland. Tahuna Torea means ‘gathering place of the oystercatcher’ and is taken from the name of the sandspit.
After an introduction and health and safety briefing, we gloved up and headed out to the southern end of the beach. A few of the SC Johnson staff found a spot on the beach that was covered in micro-plastic and spent their time concentrating on one spot, collecting hundreds of tiny pieces of plastic. It was an arduous job but a really important one, as these small pieces of plastic are very dangerous to sea life: they look just like fish eggs that marine life, such as seabirds and fish love to eat.
The rest of the team took a long walk to the sandbank, cleaning up spot after spot as they went. Small pieces of plastic along the sand spit were common and the team spent a good amount of time out there, sifting through sticks and washed up material to remove as much plastic as possible. The weather was perfect for getting stuck in as it wasn’t too hot. In total, we managed to remove 400 litres of rubbish, including a tyre, an old door covered in paint, and over 4,000 smaller items from the coast.
After all the hard work we all enjoyed an amazing gourmet BBQ cooked by our chef Mathias. We want to extend a huge thanks to the crew from SC Johnson for their effort – another day, another beach a little bit cleaner!