CMA cleans up!

Local waterways were targeted as part of a Clean Up Australia day blitz by West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (WGCMA).

Originally scheduled for 1st March, the clean-up took place at Tarwin River in Tarwin Lower and Traralgon Creek at Eric Taylor Reserve, on Thursday, 28 March.

Chief Executive Officer, Martin Fuller said the original date had to be abandoned due to the extreme weather conditions.

“We were keen to reschedule as this was an opportunity to work in an urban area, which is not where the CMA traditionally operates.”

Staff from the Environmental Protection Authority, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and Gippsland Water joined in to help pick up rubbish at the sites.

“Protecting the natural environment is not something that can be done in isolation, which is why our partnerships with other organisations are so important,” said Mr Fuller.

“I want to thank the organisations who came and helped with our site cleanups.”

Twelve bags of waste were picked up from the Tarwin River in just one hour, with stranger items including a laptop bag and half a thong.

Fifteen bags of waste were collected from Traralgon Creek, as well as larger items which wouldn’t fit including trolley parts, a bicycle wheel and a pigtail fence picket.

Mr Fuller said although the WGCMA projects were focused in rural areas, urban waterways had a definite impact on river health.

“Picking up rubbish and keeping the creeks and rivers in our towns clean is one way everyone can help protect the environment.

“Rubbish that washes into the stormwater drains will end up in our waterways and the ocean.”

Research by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning showed that 95 per cent of litter found on our beaches comes from suburban streets through the stormwater system.

Last year’s rubbish report from Clean Up Australia Day noted that waterways were the most polluted, with an average of 541 pieces of rubbish collected from each of the registered sites.