“Children have more awareness about environmental issues these days. I was surprised how onboard they are” says Waiheke Marine Project youth coordinator Tilde Sorensen. Photos Carys Templer

Grab your hiking gear and head to the coast for Waiheke Marine Project’s first beach cleanup on Sunday 30 October, at Mātiatia beachfront. This initiative will be the first of a beach clean-up series through the summer.

Co-ordinator Carys Templer says the marine project will host a monthly community event, along with a handful of schools-only events. 

She says the programme involves collecting rubbish in specified areas, then dividing it into categories such as “lollipop sticks”, and understanding what rubbish is. The cleanup is aimed at less-walked areas and will include stories about the area.

The initiative also aims to inspire and educate younger generations on the importance of keeping nature rubbish- and plastic-free.

Tilde Sorenson, the marine project’s youth advisor, says rangatahi are the next generation and will be able to continue this work.

“Children have had more education about conservation. They have more awareness. Conservation wasn’t something that was necessarily talked about when I was a kid. I was surprised by how on-board children are.”

“Having this sort of exposure sets kids to go out and make a difference.” says Tilde.

While plastics are removed with the help of Auckland Council and the local community of dog walkers, Carys says microplastics are the key focus of the project’s beach cleanup.

• Silvia Massa

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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