We are all privileged in Western Australia to have some of the most pristine beaches in the world. The Year 9 Community Service Day this year explored just how much work goes into keeping our beaches clean, and marine life and activities safe and sustainable.
The students worked alongside Keep Australia Beautiful to clean approximately 10 kilometers of coastline, including beach, sand dunes, parkland and carparks from Ocean Reef to Trigg. Despite spending a lovely day and great company together, students received quite the surprise of just how much rubbish, especially plastics, can still be found in these areas when you stop and look a little more closely.
Students, their Mentor Group teachers and the Dean of Year, spent a glorious day together and after the clean-up went to Hillary’s Boat Harbor for lunch (and possibly ice-cream). We also attended the Department of Fisheries, engaging in activities that highlighted the important work that they do in combating the human pressure on our delicate marine environments.
Students behaved exceptionally throughout the day and worked with a sense of pride and purpose that is great to witness. They came away with a sense of achievement and hopefully some practical experience and knowledge on how they can personally make the difference in the way they live to reduce waste and protect our environment for the future.
Keep Australia Beautiful Community Education Coordinator Sam Culbertson said she had a great time working with the students and asked the College to pass on her sincere regards.
“I would like to sincerely thank the Year 9 students of Swan Christian College for the amazing effort displayed at the recent litter clean-ups and audits along the coast. The groups worked to collect litter discarded by others. Listening to many of the conversations at the events, students were disappointed that people could treat our beautiful coastline in such a disrespectful way.
Over the five clean-up events, more than 90kg of litter was collected and taken out of the environment, keeping animals safe from ingestion and entanglement.”
“Not only did the students collect the litter, but they also took part in a citizen science program by conducting and audit. Some of the audit information included 1310 cigarette butts, 90 aluminium cans and 81 plastic bottles. This information had now been added to the Australian Marine Debris Initiative database, a national database containing nearly 17 million pieces of data. Once again, thank you for helping to keep Australia beautiful,” Ms Culberton said.
Leading into CSD, students made natural fiber wrist bands to raise awareness to reduce single use plastic and raised about $250 for charity. This correlated with World Clean Up day on 21 September.
Mr Robert Biddle
Dean of Year 9