Volunteers chip in to Clean Our Rivers


Volunteers cleaned up on the river near Perth.
Volunteers chip in to Clean Our Rivers
Volunteers cleaned up on the river near Perth.

VOLUNTEERS cleaned up during the Department of Parks and Wildlife’s second annual five-day Clean Our Rivers campaign when they targeted the Swan River from Elizabeth Quay to the Narrows Bridge earlier this month.

“The river is in very good nick, but obviously with our population and more people enjoying the river we see a lot more rubbish,” DPaW volunteers and community manager Jason Menzies said.

The campaign aims to collect any rubbish left from Australia Day crowds, in addition to the general aim of preventing waste and discarded fishing getting into the estuary.

It is run in conjunction with the Keep Australia Beautiful Clean Marine program.

Several tonnes of plastics, shopping trolleys and whitegoods are removed from the Swan and Canning rivers each year.

Last year’s campaign found a prevalence of cable ties, building materials and deflated play balloons among the chip packets and rusting soft drink cans, but volunteers also found a safe dumped off the Causeway Bridge.

However, the large amount of discarded fishing line and bait bags could easily be removed from the haul and not left to tangle birdlife, choke fish or break down into micro-plastics polluting the waterways.

The campaign’s Reel It In fishing clean-up program targets foreshore and boat fishers and has collected 44km of fishing line, 7600 hooks and sinkers, 6600 bait bags and 18,000 bits of general rubbish in the past three years.

“If everyone just pitches in for a little bit each time they go to river, it would make a huge difference,” Mr Menzies said.

The Town of Mosman Park has joined eight other riverside local governments in Reel It In and recently installed fishing waste bins at the Mosman Bay and Garungup Park jetties.

“As a council with river frontage, it is our duty and responsibility to strike the right balance between offering opportunities for fishing and protecting and preserving our precious air and water wildlife,” Mayor Ron Norris said.