THE Nippers at Narooma Surf Life Saving Club are well on the way to becoming “litter legends” and mentors for all of the community in the important business protecting our beautiful beaches for the future.
Narooma SLSC has recently formed a partnership with the Narooma Little Lake Land Care Group, which is regenerating and cleaning up the Little Lake foreshore to protect the biodiversity, local native fauna and the lake itself, as part of Keep Australia Beautiful (KAB) Clean Beaches Award.
Surf lifesaving clubs across Australia have long been associated with the KAB Clean Beaches initiative as public safety and environmental protection of the coast are both key outcomes for the project.
The Nippers are learning about the damage that litter, particularly that cigarette butts and plastic waste has on the marine life and water quality, during surf education sessions throughout the season and will be taking part in several education campaigns over the next 12 months and will need everyone’s support to jump on board.
The Nippers catch-cry regarding cigarette butts has been: “The only ‘butts’ we want on the beach are these!” and point to their own backsides!
A recent impromptu clean-up saw Nippers collect 50 butts in three square metre areas in five minutes.
The question we all ask is “How big does your butt have to be, before you recognise it as litter?”
People think because they are small, they will break down and disappear and not affect the water and the marine life.
These toxic butts wash into the ocean, where the chemicals release into the environment and cause harm to marine creatures.
Each butt has enough chemical pollutants in it to poison over seven litres of water.
The Nippers’ on-the-spot clean up, potentially prevented 350 litres of water being affected by the toxins.
Narooma SLSC and Little Lake Land Care are also adopting the “Take 3 for the Sea” initiative, which is a litter reduction practice that asks everyone who visits the beach to pick up three items of rubbish off the beach.
No matter how small or insignificant- as small items can do just as much damage!
It has become a practice to do this after training and the group hopes that the message catches on to everyone who visits the beach to keep it clean and safe for all to enjoy for many generations to come.
You can find out more about the Butt Free litter initiative by visiting www.esc.nsw.gov.au/living-in/living-sustainably/get-involved/butt-free-action or go to the Take 3 for the Sea’s website at www.take3.org.au