Penguin’s $20 find donated to Sustainable Coastlines | Sustainable Coastlines

Penguin’s $20 find donated to Sustainable Coastlines

A $20 bill found by a kororā building its nest has been donated to New Zealand ocean charity Sustainable Coastlines.

Napier Port’s environmental team spotted the bill as part of their regular monitoring of the live nesting box cameras.

“We’re not sure how long it had been in there, but it was likely brought in by a kororā building its nest up as they bring in nesting material from beaches and coastal areas,” says Napier Ports environmental and sustainability manager, Hannah Strauss.

“After a lengthy discussion with the penguins, we decided the money was best donated to Sustainable Coastlines who make a huge difference in cleaning up our coastlines. As tempting as it is to encourage cash-hunting penguins, we hope for a day when plastics stay away from our ocean and coastlines and nesting boxes return to plant material.”

The $20 bill was spotted during routine monitoring of the penguins’ nesting box cameras.

According to Sustainable Coastlines engagement manager, Dan Downing, it’s not uncommon for people to find cash on beach clean-ups.

“I was lucky enough to find a $20 note on my first beach clean-up with Sustainable Coastlines, but most commonly we find coins. So it’s not the first time we’ve had money turned in, but it is the first time that the money has been found by a kororā.”

“We’re super grateful for the donation, but it also highlights how common plastic is in our marine environment. In this case what the kororā brought in happened to be of value and was removed. Sadly, birds and other marine animals frequently encounter plastic in their environment, and often, the outcome isn’t so good.”

Sustainable Coastlines international volunteer (and penguin fan) Sarah helped to retrieve the note from the nest box.

The retrieval and subsequent donation of the $20 bill comes a day after hundreds of locals descended on the Hawke’s Bay coastline for the Hirepool Big Clean on Sunday, 19 May.

“We were privileged to have the support of Hirepool to add to the efforts of local Hawke’s Bay environmental groups, organisations, and businesses in not only cleaning up the coastline, but raising awareness about the problems affecting it,” says Downing.

On the day, 283 volunteers cleaned up 6.2 kilometres of coastline, removing 6,950 litres of litter, weighing 2.2 tonnes. “That effort is going to make our coastlines safer for wildlife like kororā, and for us. The kororā’s donation will go towards future events like it.”

Just some of the rubbish collected during the Hawke’s Bay Hirepool Big Clean on 19 May.