IT has been 12 months since the formation of the Coastal Warriors – a band of people fed up at the state of our waterways.
A birthday clean up will take place on Saturday, July 28, to celebrate the milestone. It will start in front of the police station in Port Macquarie from 8.30am until 11.30am.
Led by president Addam Lockley, the group have scoured beaches and rivers collecting more than 24,000 pieces of rubbish that would otherwise have been caught in the water.
Data collected over the past year will aid the group in their efforts to educate school students and bring speciality bins – like cigarette bins – to the area.
“The biggest problem is definitely cigarette butts. That's the biggest statistics, along with plastic,” Mr Lockley said.
"It was a very successful year. I was surprised with how much support we received and how much rubbish we got rid of. It was great to see the community so involved.
“We will continue to grow in the coming year. We will push for a school education program now that we have a year worth of stats, and we want cigarette bins and drain coverings in the CBD.”
Best of all, they have been successful in securing a Seabin for Port Marina.
The Seabin is a floating rubbish bin that is located in the water at marinas, docks, yacht clubs and commercial ports.
The Seabin moves up and down with the range of tide collecting all floating rubbish. Water is sucked in from the surface and passes through a catch bag inside the Seabin, with a submersible water pump capable of displacing 25,000 LPH (litres per hour), plugged directly into 110/220 V outlet.
The water is then pumped back into the marina leaving litter and debris trapped in the catch bag to be disposed of properly. The Seabin also has the potential to collect a percentage of oils and pollutants floating on the water surface.
Meegan Stephens, volunteer and education liason officer, said they were lucky to have a Seabin on its way to Port Macquarie. It is another tool she can use to help educate students.
“I think it's really important to educate the children about pollution and protecting the oceans, which is where I will be focusing most of my efforts on over the next 12 months,” she said.
“I want to do workshops and presentations in schools. We're trying to coralate that with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council and working in and scheduling with the school."