Kids, pick up that bottle your mum and dad dropped last year
Parks Victoria's Junior Rangers program is marking World Oceans Day with a series of hands-on (byo gloves) cleanups for kids aged 6-12 at beaches around Victoria. World Oceans Day helps to raise awareness about the conservation of the world's oceans and has been celebrated since 2002.
Keep a great kids beach clean at Ricketts Point on World Oceans Day
There are nine places around Melbourne, on the Mornington Peninsula and on the west coast of Victoria where you can participate in Parks Victoria's clean ups. They are all listed on the Junior Ranges what's on page, including maps and start times for each destination. Locations include the Patterson River, Williamstown, Port Campbell, Swans Bay (near Queenscliff), the Great Ocean Road (at Urquarts Bluff), Ricketts Point, Gunnamatta, Barwon Heads and Point Lonsdale. Start times vary but usually commence in the morning and run for up to a couple of hours.
This is a free event, but Parks Victoria asks that you pre-register via the event listing on the Junior Ranges website. All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over 18 years of age. Parks Victoria advises participants to bring drinking water, wear sturdy footwear (no thongs), a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and clothing appropriate for the weather. Activities may be rescheduled, changed or cancelled due to adverse weather or for emergency response. Bring your own gloves and/or tongs for picking up the litter.
A clean beach (the way it should be) on the Great Ocean Road
Everything that you collect will contribute to a litter survey for the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI). As of the 1st of June 2019, this initiative had removed over 13 million items of debris from Australia's coastline, weighing over 1.4 tonnes, with the help of almost 140,000 volunteers. By participating in Clean Up for World Oceans Day, hopefully, that can be pushed up to 15 million items and our beaches can be cleaner for swimming, and our oceans safer for marine life.
Litter waiting to be picked up to protect our coast and oceans
I think it is always important to understand what organisations you are supporting by volunteering in community events such as this. World Oceans Day is an initiative of the The Ocean Project, which is primarily a market research support group for zoos and aquariums around the world. Various zoos and aquariums provide sponsorship for The Ocean Project, as well as several private companies. The Ocean Project's "fiscal partner" is The Ocean Foundation, which is a philanthropic organisation that supports coastal and ocean conservation, and is funded through a combination of donations, grants and the provision of consulting services. You can find out more about these groups, or make a donation directly to them, via the links in the text above.
Even if picking up litter is not your thing, take the time to check out Parks Victoria's junior ranger program, which has a wide range of nature-based activities for kids at different times throughout the year. It helps to foster greater awareness and engagement with nature from a young age so that hopefully less litter ends up in our oceans in the future.