Thanks to the fine folk and our new Charity Partners Kathmandu, 66 adventurous soles were treated to a day of exploration and beach-combing on beautiful Motutapu Island.
With local support from the Motutapu Restoration Trust, the Motutapu Outdoor Education Camp, and the Department of Conservation volunteers removed an impressive 520litres of harmful non-biodegradable waste from the beaches of this iconic pest-free island.
We were met with a beautiful morning as we piled on to the Reo Moana and set the compass for Motutapu Island. On route, we were introduced to a new campaign that three passionate young volunteers were starting up called ‘Straws Suck’, which aimed to reduce the consumption of plastic straws and their impact on the marine environment. As we neared the island the Sustainable Coastlines team provided some important context to the day’s activities by delivering an educational presentation on the impact of plastic pollution and providing some simple solutions to address the issue.
Once on the island, we split into teams and ventured out over volcanic rock, through areas of regenerated bush, past old World War II and archaeological sites to the various clean-up areas identified on the island. With limited time on the coast, everyone rolled their sleeves up and got stuck in. Nestled amongst the sticks, leaves and seaweed along the high-tide mark were high concentrations of microplastics and the usual suspects: bottle caps, lollipop sticks, food and beverage wrappers and other single-use plastic items.
After hauling our rubbish back (with help from our friends at the Motutapu Restoration Trust) to Home Bay, our base for the day, we were met by rising wind and the realisation that it was no longer safe for the Red Moana to nudge into the wharf and pick us up. This hardy bunch of volunteers, most of which were Kathmandu Summit Club members, with no questions asked trekked another 1.5hrs to Islington Bay where we could load the boat back to Auckland in sheltered conditions. An amazing effort from the whole team, thank you!
Our heartfelt thanks to Kathmandu for providing this unique experience. We’re looking forward to the next adventure already.