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5 July 2001
In the lead up to World Environment Day on 5 June, Coastcare is encouraging people to 'Get their minds in the gutter' - calling on Australians to think about the actions they take at home and work to help stop polluting our beaches and oceans.
Tracey Wickham - 5 time swimming world record holder and 4 time Commonwealth gold medal winner - is a strong supporter of the Coastcare program.
"All Australians can make a difference to help keep our oceans and beaches clean," Tracey said.
"We all have an impact on what flows from our gutters to our coast. When it comes to Coastcare, we've all got to get involved. Our children deserve nothing less than a clean and healthy environment. As a mother I'm very concerned about what is happening to our oceans and beaches."
"Importantly, we can all be a part of the Coastcare solution by getting involved in projects to protect and restore our precious coastline."
Most coastal pollution originates on land. When rain falls, loose material from the ground gets washed into the storm water system so things like cigarette butts, oil, dog droppings and street litter flow into the storm water system, and ultimately into the ocean.
Tracey Wickham added, "I love being at the beach with my kids. Australia has the best beaches in the world, and they are a very important part of Australian culture."
"We simply cannot afford to end up like some other countries where beaches can be full of rubbish. I've seen the results of pollution on our beaches and it's a terrible sight. I've seen glass bottles, fishing line, plastic bags, plastic cups, cigarette butts and chip packets all carelessly left behind. I just can't understand why people can't dispose of rubbish carefully."
Coastcare is urging everyone to take the following actions to help reduce the pollution of our waterways:
National Coastcare Manager, Sarah Chalkley said the Coastcare program is making a difference on the ground to repair and protect our coastal and marine environment.
Sarah Chalkley said, "Coastcare grants and a network of 30 Facilitators around the country help the community to get involved in projects such as dune rehabilitation, coastal planning and marine monitoring. There are now over 60,000 volunteers involved with Coastcare and close to 2,000 Coastcare groups - forming a network that is working to save Australia's precious oceans and beaches."
"Volunteers form the backbone of the Coastcare effort and in this the International Year of the Volunteer, I would like to congratulate them for their commitment to ensuring our coastlines are protected for future generations."
Coastcare is a program of the Commonwealth Government's Natural Heritage Trust in partnership with State and Territory governments.
For more information on Coastcare, please call Environment Australia's Community Information Unit on 1800 803 772 or visit the web site at: www.environment.gov.au/marine/coastcare
Media enquiries to:
Media & Communication Officer
Ph: (02) 9412 1040
M: 0414 323 615
National Coastcare Manager
Ph: 02 6274 1490
M: 0409 827 752
You can also call Ross Woodward or Jessica Morrow at Media Key on (03) 9781 5140.