Port Macquarie Scavenge

Finally a fine weather forecast for our fourth Port Macquarie Scavenge… The sun was predicted to shine and a light breeze was meant to blow, but of course this was not to be the case!

We competed with the rain throughout the set-up and kicked off in a deluge. Fortunately, it wasn’t enough to stop the legendary souls of Port Mac come out and play! We had an epic turnout of 74 individuals, and as far as silver linings go, a much cooler and enjoyable environment for them all to pick up trash!

We teamed up with the crew at the Foreshore Markets to host our first Scavenge at Westport Park. It was a wildly different energy and traffic on this side of town. We felt truly blessed to support the Markets who share our passion for the environment and are currently phasing out plastic by July.

Overall 122kg of trash was collected from the park. This included 3,712 cigarette butts that were collected and prevented from entering and contaminating our waterways. Something you might like to know is, the chemicals in one butt contaminates approximately 7.5L of water in just one hour.

We had a long list of local and visiting organisations and individuals share their inspiring stories:

·      Rhonda Radley and a group of Birpai young women opened the event with a Welcome to Country and their blessing through song which the audience joined

·      Anthony Hill was a huge hit yet again! His insightful knowledge on marine debris pollution and interactive style of plastic trivia inspired us all to change our plastic consumption. The winners were awarded with reusable fruit bags donated by the crew from Frugal Forest (I am a tad embarrassed to admit I didn’t even make it through the first round of plastic-free heads or tails!).

·      The Nature School joined us for the first time with their tee-pee and were swamped with kids and grown-ups (expressing their inner child) learning to fashion flower crowns and blend potpourri from the wonders Mother Nature provides.

·      Boomerang Bags, Coastal Warriors, the Climate Change Council as well as Kate Caters joined the Scavenge again to spread various perspectives and awareness of the challenges we create for the environment and provide solutions on how we can change our habits to create positive change in the world.

·      11-year-old Shalice from Lake Cathie gave an amazing talk about her love of marine life and how each person can make a difference. Her passion and her actions made people stop what they were doing and listen.

·      We also had many other amazing talks from Coastal Warriors, Boomerang Bags and Rhi (The Rhi Rebellion) Simmons winner of Port Macquarie-Hastings Youth Citizen of the Year 2018.

The encouraging feedback from locals indicated that they’d love to participate in a monthly Scavenge (awesome!). Unfortunately though, if this were to be the case our dedicated Port Chapter would be living and breathing the Scavenge all day everyday… So we’ve settled on 2 annual events in Port; a Spring Scavenge in Westport Park in April, and an Autumn Scavenge at Town Beach in November.

Hats off to everyone involved with our first Seaside Scavenge at Westport Park, we had a killer event thanks to of all of you! It really was a day filled with love and passion for our environment. How lucky we are to live in a community of people who care and take care and action for what they believe in.

THANKS TO OUR LOCAL SPONSORS, TALENTED MUSICIANS AND VOLUNTEERS FOR MAKING IT HAPPEN!

Anna Jane Linke