Citizens unite to clean Raglan beaches

Published by Amanda Valois on

A gorgeous day for a beach clean – photo credit Amanda Valois

On February 27th, a group of enthusiastic locals met at Charlie and Ella’s house for a “Citizen Science Training” evening. Invited where those who had previously indicated  an interest in learning more about the “science” in citizen science of the Raglan Beach Cleans.

Invitations were shared through the Karioi page (865 likes), Raglan Notice Board, and the Karioi Volunteer email list  (70 contacts) 12 people attended, plus 4 organizers – all indicated an interest to take on a role pre, during or post beach cleans. 10 people put their hands up to fill roles for the upcoming beach clean and post-clean analysis. Ella gave a presentation about why we collect data and the perimeters of the Raglan transect studies. Bexie Towle introduced the Karioi Project and the Oi – a type seabird living on Karioi. Bexie and Kristel provided delicious plastic-free and locally sourced snacks, which were actually many attendees’ dinner.

So many nurdles! Volunteers take a closer look at the strand line to see what small pieces of plastic could be found amongst the debris – Photo credit Amanda Valois

7 volunteers helped Ella and Kristel to examine 12 transects in two locations, inside the estuary near the main boat ramp and outside the estuary next to the airfield. 5 of these volunteers had attended the training night .

On Saturday March 9th, Bexie, Kristel and Ella met at Ella’s house to analyse the items found in the transects. Two volunteers, Denise and Wiea, were trained in on analysis using UNEP codes . Denise put together a process “how-to” for future beach cleans. Wiea took data home to enter.

The Inner Harbour Seaweek Beach Clean was a success. A little less plastic is on our beaches. New friendships were formed. And everyone learned a little bit more about what we can do as individuals to make the planet better.

Transects were laid out for volunteers to look for microplastics – photo credit Amanda Valois

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Amanda Valois

Amanda Valois

I am a water quality scientist working on litter and plastic pollution in rivers. I am interested in the sources and pathways of plastics as it makes its way from the land to the sea. Working with communities and incorporating local action and knowledge makes up a large part of my work.

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