Marine science students (from left) Karl Goodsell, Aisling Hall, Ana Markic, Alysha Sozou and Amelia Bissell sort beach rubbish with Professor Stephen Smith.
Marine science students (from left) Karl Goodsell, Aisling Hall, Ana Markic, Alysha Sozou and Amelia Bissell sort beach rubbish with Professor Stephen Smith. BRUCE THOMAS

Load of rubbish on beaches

IT’S A load of rubbish and it’s been collected from our local beaches.

Each year, as part of the Southern Cross University’s Marine Science and Management course at the Marine Science Centre, students survey the amount of garbage on Coffs Harbour beaches.

Associate Professor Stephen Smith said the survey covered Park Beach, Jetty Beach and Diggers Beach. According to Professor Smith, this year’s sample revealed a 25-fold increase in the volume of garbage compared with last year, with the south end of Jetty Beach returning the worst results.

He said the increase could be attributed to three main factors, one being that there was generally more garbage generated by the community as a whole.

“This means we need to be much more aware of how we dispose of garbage so it doesn’t get into the marine environment,” he said.

Professor Smith said other contributing factors were that the survey had coincided with a period of heavy rain, and this had resulted in rubbish washing into stormwater drains and making its way to the sea; and also high seas had led to increased debris washing up on beaches this year.


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