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Sombre find at clean-up

Department of Conservation ranger Keith Townsend holds a lifeless seagull, tangled in fishing line. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

 

EMILY NORMAN

The discovery of a dead seagull tangled in fishing line was a sombre reminder of how important the Castlepoint Beach clean-up was last weekend.

More than 100 volunteers of all ages gathered outside the Castlepoint Store last Saturday morning, armed with gloves and sacks to hunt out rubbish along the coastline.

Chayla Beaver, left, Paula Vermeer, and Emily Crofoot. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN
Chayla Beaver, left, Paula Vermeer, and Emily Crofoot. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Leading the initiative was 19-year-old former Wairarapa College student Chayla Beaver who hopes to make a career out of her passion for the environment one day.

Looking at the haul of rubbish from the weekend, she said she was “quite surprised”.

She had hoped there would be hardly any rubbish along the coastline following last year’s monster clean-up, but each volunteer was still able to find at least one sack of rubbish – most of it being plastic.

Chayla said Castlepoint was a unique beach because of the “wind factor” and the rocky landscape.

“Unfortunately, the wind finds all the rubbish and it ends up in the crevasses, and eventually, it does get out into the ocean.”

Although Chayla had explained to volunteers the detrimental effects of rubbish on sea and bird life, the message was drilled home to many when a seagull was found tangled in fishing line with a hook in its mouth.

It was brought forth by a ranger from the Department of Conservation who was taking part in the beach clean-up.

Jonny Hewson, sorts out some recycling. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN
Jonny Hewson, sorts out some recycling. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Zero Waste coordinator for the three Wairarapa councils Jo Dean said the only way to make a difference and protect the environment was to make “one step at a time in the right direction”.

“For every person in the Wellington region, we are putting 600kg of rubbish to the landfill each year.

“We want to get that down to 400kg, which is still quite scary.”

She said it was great to see a huge turnout of young people at the clean-up event.

“We need these young people to come out and continue to make a change.”

The rubbish collected on the day was sorted into recyclable and non-recyclables and will be weighed to see what the diversion rate is of rubbish going to landfill.

Chayla said she wanted to thank all those who came out to support and sponsor the event.

Zara Hewitt, 16, and her sister Milly, 10. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN
Zara Hewitt, 16, and her sister Milly, 10. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN
Jonny Hewson, left, Don and Linda Macrae, Rhys Watkins, and Lochie Macrae. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN
Jonny Hewson, left, Don and Linda Macrae, Rhys Watkins, and Lochie Macrae. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN
Masterton District Councillor Chris Peterson with his huntaway Lad, and Pahiatua resident Alex Sheridan who came down for the clean-up. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN
Masterton District Councillor Chris Peterson with his huntaway Lad, and Pahiatua resident Alex Sheridan who came down for the clean-up. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN
Diane Krivan, left, and Gilly Buckman show off their finds on the beach. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN
Diane Krivan, left, and Gilly Buckman show off their finds on the beach. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN
Jan and Tom Ward of Masterton. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN
Jan and Tom Ward of Masterton. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN
Lansdowne Scouts leader Brent Gilmore. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN
Lansdowne Scouts leader Brent Gilmore. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN
The Lansdowne Scouts group. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN
The Lansdowne Scouts group. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

 

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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