The tide was right, the impending rain held off and we had an enthusiastic crew in the form of 63 enthusiastic Auckland Uniservices staff and international (IVHQ) volunteer helpers to clean up the coastline off Point Chevalier Beach and Coyle Park last Thursday. And what a clean-up it was!
We all gathered at 3pm, and after a quick huddle, words from the Auckland UniServices CEO Dr Andy Shenk and a health and safety briefing, we got into teams and headed out to scour the cliff tops around Point Chev’s Coyle park, and down onto the beach, around the park itself and the car park. The more adventurous of us got down into the mud to gather broken glass, fishing equipment, patches of microplastics and nurdles in the sea debris, and even discarded parts of the playground above!
After a good hour and a half of clean-up we came back to base where we emptied out our bags and looked at our scores laid out in front of us. It was clear that though the beach was pretty clean, thanks to dedicated locals cleaning the beach on their walks, other more unseen areas don’t get the same love – litter bugs had left behind countless cigarette butts all over the cliffs and in the car park, bottles of plastic and glass were thrown without care into the bushes, and as usual – our most commonly found soft plastic fragments and plastic bags and fishing line were found snagged on the pohutukawa lining the coastline.
It was a welcome treat to have Amy our caterer waiting with a zero-single-use-plastic barbecue feast waiting for us after our mahi, and one of our Sustainable Coastlines Education volunteers giving our Love Your Coast educational talk to some of those gathered.
A big shout out goes to Auckland uniServices who hosted us, braved the weather and got more than 135kg worth of rubbish off our coastlines and surrounds. The area was left all the more clean and I think everyone left feeling a great sense of achievement and team bonding. Great work team!
If you would like to run a clean-up/ team building session with us AND at the same time do a great service for our oceans, contact us at Sustainable Coastlines and we would be happy to chat through your options.