Pt Lillias Cleanup: Coca-Cola Foundation Coastcare Grant 2020 » Landcarer

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Rebecca St Ledger
by Published on October 22, 2020


The Pt Lillias Peninsula is a stunning Ramsar site adjacent to the Avalon Coastal Reserve and provides significant habitat for migratory birds. The beautiful site is heavily impacted by marine litter which pollutes the area and risks negatively affecting wildlife. BCN’s project ‘Caring For Our Point’ aims to highlight the littering issue through a behaviour change campaign which will hopefully improve visitor stewardship of the site.

L to R: DELWP Working for Victoria team champions Alex, Maddie, Blake and Dan

The first of three cleanups took place with a five person clean-up crew consisting of BCN and WFV staff, who trekked the 3.5km return journey to remove litter from the remote site - twice! Fifteen full 56L bags of litter were removed from Pt Lillias, with three full bags attributed to one bush alone. For future clean-ups we intend to utilize wheelbarrows to maximise the large items which can be carried out, such as tents and camping chairs.

Image shows the first of two new CFOB Litter Hotspot Site at Pt Lillias, 'Rockpool Pathway'. Following image shows audit of litter that was removed. 
Three bags of litter (one bag not shown) was removed from one bush alone!

Shocking litter levels were discovered on the NE foreshore, where in places it is difficult to distinguish litter from sand and shells. A 50m2 area revealed 234 unidentifiable pieces of plastic alone, with some food wrappers dating over ten years old and extremely friable. Two sub-sites were identified for regular auditing which will be monitored as part of the Caring For Our Bays Litter Hotspot program and entered into DELWP's recently launched litter portal, LitterWatch.

Image shows the second of two new CFOB Litter Hotspot Site at Pt Lillias, 'NE Foreshore'. 458 items of litter were removed from the surface of the small space between the bushes. Although the large colourful items are easily spotted in this image, the numerous fragments of litter are not visible, and were difficult for our team to distinguish from the dried seagrass and shells.
Image showing the burden of litter along the NE foreshore. Some of the items found were able to be dated at over ten years' old, and were extremely friable. Plastic does not degrade, it just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces which are ingested by wildlife at all stages of the food chain. 258 small to micro pieces of plastic and polystyrene were identified on the surface of this site (NE Foreshore) within a 50m2 space.

Auditing revealed plastic pollution to be the major concern at Pt Lillias, with food & beverage related items and fishing paraphernalia the main items found. The results suggest that recreational anglers should be engaged to find solutions to reduce litter left at the site.

DELWP WFV team member Alex and Dan auditting the litter removed from the first of two new CFOB Litter Hotspot Site at Pt Lillias, 'Rockpool Pathway'. This small site mostly contains a bush which had three full 56L bags of rubbish removed from it.

Thank-you to Parks Victoria for providing a skip and access for the event, and to the DELWP Working for Victoria Team, without whom the event would not have been possible during Covid.

View of the You Yangs over the salt lagoons which provide vital habitat for migratory birds, such as the Red-necked stint and Latham's Snipe which were on site in abundance!
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