LitterWatch - a new way to understand litter » Landcarer

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Naomi Wells
by Published on October 15, 2020

The Geelong region is home to picturesque coastal and country areas which form distinctive landscapes and habitats for people, plants and animals. Keeping these areas free of litter is important to everyone, and our region fortunately benefits from many active volunteer groups and organisations whose focus is keeping our natural areas litter free and healthy. Many residents volunteer their time to participate in clean-ups and citizen science projects which seek to understand the type and source of litter appearing along our coastline.

Despite the amazing clean-up efforts of volunteer groups and organisations in our region, a lot of the valuable information that they collect is lost. With multiple places to enter and store information about litter abundance and litter types, this valuable data is often hidden and doesn’t allow us to see the true picture. To help tackle this data issue, the Victorian State Government has launched a state-wide litter database called LitterWatch and will allow any volunteer, group or organisation to capture their clean-up efforts in the one location.

LitterWatch is a state-wide portal which is accessible to the public, volunteer groups and community organisations to capture litter data in a user friendly and centralised place. This data will be seen by the State Government and will help shape how we manage and deal with litter and assist in changing community behaviour. An additional benefit to the new LitterWatch portal is that it will ensure clean-up methods are consistent across surveys, and the litter data will be visible to the general public and registered user groups. By transforming the way that Victorians capture data about litter, we will be able to work as a broad team to tackle the issue of litter in in our stunning landscapes and marine habitats.

If you would like to contribute to this revolutionary project, volunteer with the Caring For our Bays program; a local initiative aiming to understand the type and source of litter impacting our waterways. This October, the team at Caring for Our Bays are offering free training for volunteers wanting to learn how to use the LitterWatch portal. With the weather warming up, it’s a great time to come on board and learn how to use this exciting litter tracking tool to help protect our waterways!

For more information on volunteering with Caring For Our Bays, please contact Bellarine Catchment Network at info@bcn.org.au or visit www.environmentbellarine.org.au

#litterwatch #caringforourbays

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