Cleaning on the go

“How do you make people increase their custodianship of one of the most beautiful and healthy rivers in an Australian city?” Department of Parks and Wildlife community engagement officer Jason Menzies said.

After discarded fishing lines entangled dolphins in the river last year, DoPAW and the Swan River Trust’s River Guardian volunteers joined forces with 21 riverside councils and environmental groups, including Cottesloe’s Earth Carers, to hold the first annual #CleanOurRivers last week.

“It’s all about people cleaning up their parts of their rivers, waterways, lakes and ponds, not just on a special day once a year, but when they are out recreating at any time,” the Parks and Wildlife officer said.

The safe was found broken and empty by River Guardian volunteers under the Narrows Bridge when #CleanOurRivers started last Monday, before other organised cleanups at Como last Friday and Black Wall Reach last weekend.

However, Mr Menzies said river lovers should be picking up discarded fishing lines, bottles, cans, or other rubbish at any time while walking their dogs.

Cyclists and runners could take a plastic bag along during their trip and spend five minutes gathering anything left behind by others.

“And if you’re on the water in your kayak, grab anything you may find bobbing about,” he said. Earth Care volunteers, supported by Claremont Council, found bottles, drink lids, straws, deflated balloons and cigarette butts dominating shoreline rubbish between Claremont Yacht Club and Claremont Museum last Wednesday. “The balloons are probably from riverside parties and picnics, and are really bad as they look like food to river wildlife, and if they eat them they’ll never eat again,” Earth Carer co-ordinator Libby Eustance said.