In 1989 a bloke had a simple idea to make a difference in his own backyard – Sydney Harbour. This simple idea has now become the nation’s largest community-based environmental event, Clean Up Australia Day.
Ian Kiernan, who died in October last year, was a sailor who was shocked and disgusted by the pollution and rubbish that he continually encountered in the Sargasso Sea and the Caribbean.
Back in Sydney Ian organised a community event with the support of a committee of friends, including Clean Up co-founder Kim McKay AO – Clean Up Sydney Harbour.
The idea grew, and now each March thousands of Australians put on their hats and gloves and do their best to clean things up.
Our oceans are suffocating with plastic pollution; globally, more than eight million tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean every year, killing, entangling, strangling, and choking seabirds and marine mammals.
In 2019 the Business Clean Up Day is Tuesday 26 February, the Youth and Schools Clean Up Day is Friday 1 March, and the main Clean Up Australia Day is Sunday 3 March.
Local clean up
Locally, the Brunswick River Clean Up will start at 8am on Sunday. A harbour and river foreshore cleanup will be the focus for onshore volunteers. A maximum of 12 people will go on a small boat Reflections to do a riverbank and river cleanup.
Volunteers for the Brunswick cleanup can contact Lorraine on 0410 016 926 or meet at the Brunswick Heads Boat Harbour at the wharf. To join up online for Clean Up Australia go online at www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au/fundraisers/lorrainefreeden/brunswick-river-cleanup.
Please bring hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, cover up, and be sun smart.
Helpers can also sign on at the skip bin just north of Orana Road roundabout near the old Salad Bowl site in Ocean Shores, on Sunday from 7am. For more info call 0405 383 798.
For more information visit the Clean Up website: www.cleanup.org.au.