Launch of Online Litter Monitoring Portal: LitterWatch » Landcarer

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Rebecca St Ledger
by Published on October 22, 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.

Caring for our Bays Litter Hotspot Champions Volunteering their time to regularly monitor a coastal site

These volunteer groups and organisations regularly conduct amazing clean-up efforts, but with multiple places to enter and store information about litter abundance and litter types, this valuable data is sometimes 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 which will allow volunteers, groups or organisations to capture their clean-up efforts in the one location. The litter data will then be widely available, and the data readily used by relevant groups and organisations.

Fishing line - A scourge on the wildlife when not disposed of properly in bins!

LitterWatch data will be monitored by the Victorian State Government and will help shape how litter is managed and dealt with and assist in changing community behaviour. 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 our stunning landscapes and marine habitats.

Cigarette butts are made from plastic, not paper as is often thought, and will not break down for decades. They are highly prevalent in natural areas and there can be as many as 300+ cigarette butts found in one 50m2 CFOB Litter Hotpost auditting site.

If you would like to contribute to this 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 and November, the team at Caring for Our Bays are offering free training to Caring for our Bays 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!

CFOB Litter Champions who volunteer their time quarterly to monitor a local site and send their data to Litterwatch to be analysed.

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

 


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