Paddle Against Plastics: kayaks take to water collecting waste

A flotilla of local kayakers took to the water last weekend removing litter from Brisbane’s iconic Breakfast Creek.

The kayaks were manned by passionate community members who put up their hands to take part in a two-hour clean up paddle session to remove the problematic build up of plastics and other rubbish that accumulates in this important tributary of the Brisbane River.

The morning kicked off at Yowoggera Park at Albion with hot breakfast and coffee and a Welcome to Country performed by Derek from Yerongpan Aboriginal Dancers.

Paddlers and interested community members were then treated to insightful short talks on the ecological values of Breakfast Creek by Leo Lee from Save our Waterways Now (SOWN).

Assistant Environment Minister, Member for Brisbane, Trevor Evans MP officially kicked off the event, with the paddlers organised into groups with a guide to act as an on-water spotter, and to provide support and advice to the volunteers.

 

The official Healthy Land and Water Clean Up boat was out moving between the kayaks, collecting full rubbish bags. The waste was then bought back to shore, where a litter audit was undertaken to determine the type and amount of litter the paddlers collected. The expert team analysed and categorised the litter to get an understanding of how, why and when litter is entering the creek, helping to inform prevention efforts to stop these pollutants at the source.

This community event was delivered by Healthy Land and Water, the peak Natural Resource Management body for the region. CEO of Healthy Land and Water, Julie McLellan says litter in waterways is not just an eyesore, it can be fatal to our wildlife including iconic marine species.

“Studies by the Moreton Bay Research Station have shown that 30% of mortality rates of endangered sea turtles in Moreton Bay are attributed to ingesting waterway litter,” she says.

“We’ve done the research and we know that getting in and removing waterway litter around dense urban centres is the most efficient and economically viable method of removal.”

She says becoming more efficient at rubbish removal is increasingly important as South East Queensland’s population growth brings a marked increase in the number and severity of litter ‘hot spots’.

Keep in mind that our beautiful and highly sought-after waterways are estimated to provide over $10 billion per year to the region’s economy through tourism, recreation, drinking water supply and fishing.

“This project is one of the ways we are playing an active role in tackling issues to ensure that South East Queensland retains its enviable reputation as a great place to live, work and play.”

 

This project is supported by Healthy Land and Water, through funding from the Australian Government’s Environment Restoration Fund and Brisbane City Council, Logan City Council, Ipswich City Council, City of Gold Coast, and Moreton Bay Regional Council. 

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