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Beach Boys & Girls Clean Coast

20130419 The AdvocateA mummified message in a bottle was among the items collected by Launceston Church Grammar School students on Wednesday as they cleaned up Moorland Beach at Wesley Vale in Tasmania.

The school did 4 clean ups over 2 days removing 195kg of rubbish, 32 full clean up Australia day bags as part of the Cradle Coast Beachwatch program. This beach acts like a marine debris trap due to the ocean currents in this area. This is the first clean up conducted by this school who has now adopted this beach and has committed to twice yearly cleanups. The next one is due in September and they have already set a date. Four classes were involved, two per day. 12 hours worth of cleaning was conducted by102 students. An amazing effort!

Other items uncovered by the students included babies nappies, thick ropes, recycling containers, metal sheets, hundreds of plastic bottles and vehicle tyres. "We've also picked up hundreds of Devonport City Council parking meter receipts. They really need to do something about those actually, because they don't break down very easily." Discover ranger John Bowden, who lead the excursions, said.

The project was part of the school's annual week-long Aboriginal cultural studies camp.

"Aboriginal people have a strong connection with the land and much of their cultural practices revolve around nurturing the environment," Launceston Church Grammar School teacher George Darby said. "We wanted the students to contribute to the environment's protection too through this community service project." With each student carrying on average 7kgs of rubbish, the group travelled 14 kilometres each day, traversing the beaches between Wesley Vale and Port Sorell.

"This project really makes you stop and think about all the little things you drop along the way," 15 year old Monica Murcott said. "And doing something like this for the community makes you happy. It feels good."
The students itemised the rubbish objects before recording the results and handing them over to the Cradle Coast NRM who have also contributed the data to Tangaroa Blue Foundation and the Australian Marine Debris Initiative.

Report from The Advocate Newspaper and Beachwatch.