Roots & Shoots volunteers in Melbourne travelled to Phillip Island to clean Summerlands Beach on Saturday the 2nd of June. Volunteers were hosted by the education team at Phillip Island Nature Parks where they learnt about the history of Phillip Island and the work done by Phillip Island Nature Parks to protect the 32 000 little penguins and other wildlife that call the island home. Volunteers spent their time collecting and sorting marine debris and had the opportunity to visit the penguin parade in the evening.
Scientists estimate that about 90% of seabirds have plastic in their stomachs, and this figure is higher in areas around Australia and New Zealand. According to scientific models, this figure is likely to increase to 99% by the year 2050. Volunteers helped removed over 800 pieces of marine debris that included discarded fishing items, plastic packaging, straws, bottle caps and microplastics. Although a reactive measure, clean-ups help prevent marine life from ingesting non-biodegradable material.
The National Youth Leadership Council at Roots & Shoots Australia have developed a campaign to raise awareness of the human impact on the oceans. The Thumbs up for Turtles campaign aims to promote the use of sustainable and reusable alternatives such as keep cups, cloth bags and reusable water bottles that can be used instead of disposable items. Supporters can also get involved with this campaign by posting a photo with the hashtag #ThumbsupforTurtles and telling us what you do to reduce your impact on the oceans. If you would like to carry out a clean-up in your local area, if you like to volunteer with us or get involved with this campaign contact us on youth(at)janegoodall(dot)org(au)