Volunteers to clean Wollongong Harbour - above and below the water

Team effort: Volunteers taking part in the Wollongong Harbour event are calling on more people to get involved. Picture: Adam McLean.
Team effort: Volunteers taking part in the Wollongong Harbour event are calling on more people to get involved. Picture: Adam McLean.

Wollongong Harbour may be considered one of the region's tourism gems but, as a working harbour, it's far from sparkling clean.

That's why a large group of volunteers will converge on the area in two weeks, for the second annual "land and sea clean up" the day before Clean-Up Australia Day.

Organisations involved are the Rotary Club of Wollongong, Plastic Free Wollongong, The Surfrider Foundation, Peloton Against Plastic, Fair Food Forager, Wollongong Freedrivers, the UOW Scuba Club, SES and Wollongong City Council.

The event began last year, when a 150-strong crew collected 38 bags of rubbish, weighing a combined 325 kilograms.

Anyone can get involved: it's really fulfilling to all come together with no political issues to do this one thing together.

Among the items of litter lifted and shifted were 5000 cigarette butts, 116 coffee cups, 109 bottles, 147 takeaway plastic cups/plates, and 140 straws.

Organiser Sandra Dohring said anyone was welcome to join in, with no expertise necessary - unless you'd like to be part of the crew who will be diving for rubbish underwater.

"Anyone can get involved: it's really fulfilling to all come together with no political issues to do this one thing together," she said.

"Last year, there was pollution in the harbour, so we were unable to dive there as we planned, and had to dive outside the harbour walls."

"You find all sorts of things underwater - plastic bags, a lot of fishing waste, electroinc waste, people's phones, bikes and bottles of beer from people who just throw their rubbish into the harbour."

The clean-up is on February 29, with volunteers to meet at 9am at the middle of the harbour (near Yachties) for registration. The event ends at 11.30, with a free lunch provided.

Be the first to get breaking Illawarra news by subscribing to our newsletters ...

This story Volunteers to clean Wollongong Harbour - above and below the water first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.