Have your say on how to reduce litter in Hastings waterways

Enviro campaigner for cleaner waterways, Shalise Leesfield.
Enviro campaigner for cleaner waterways, Shalise Leesfield.

Recreational fishers are being invited to have a say on upcoming council initiatives to reduce fishing litter in and around the region’s waterways.

A $77,000 grant from the NSW Environment Protection Authority will be used to prevent fishing line, plastic bait bags, hooks and general rubbish from being left at popular fishing spots.

Group manager Maria Doherty said as a community living near the coast we all have a responsibility to keep  rivers, creeks and ocean free from litter.

“We’re calling on all local fishers to get on board with council’s fishing litter project by helping us to identify litter hotpots, and let us know how fishing litter can be reduced,” Ms Doherty said.

“The impact of litter in our waterways is drastic, it decimates marine life, makes our public spaces look unsightly, and costs our community thousands of dollars and countless volunteer hours each year to remove.

“From education campaigns to the installation of new bins, this project is one of a range of approaches Council is taking to target litter so that our region can stay pristine.”

Council’s focus on reducing marine litter has been inspired by local community groups and volunteers who work tirelessly to clean-up and remove litter from the environment.

One inspiring volunteer is young Shalise Leesfield, who has been doing regular clean-ups along the region’s shoreline for some time, and says she’s over the moon to have instigated change in the community.

“There’s so much plastic, like fishing line and bags, just lying around on our beaches, breakwalls and reserves,” Shalise said.

“I’ve collected heaps of fishing line on my own, so to now have a focused effort encouraging people to do the right thing when they’re fishing is really exciting, and will really help protect our local wildlife.”

To complete the survey and have your say visit pmhc.nsw.gov.au/marine-litter