Over sixty people gathered at Point Cook Community Centre recently for a special 'Movies and Muffins' night to learn about litter and its impact on the environment as part of Wyndham City's Green Living Series.
The event was organised by Bruce Boddington from Point Cook Open Spaces in collaboration with Wyndham City Council and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)'s Arthur Rylah Institute (ARI).
The Australian Government's National Landcare Programme, Victorian Recreational Fishing Licence Fees and Wyndham City Council jointly funded the evening.
Bruce Boddington said: "Litter dropped by people in our suburbs, in our streets, finds its way from street gutters to waterways and eventually to the Bay. Not only is litter unsightly, it impacts our health and safety, as well as our environment and wildlife."
"We can all play a role in preventing litter and making healthier catchments and communities.'
The movies screened included 'Plastic Oceans' (ABC Catalyst) and 'Baykeepers' (Port Phillip EcoCentre), which highlighted the damage by suburban litter to our oceans and marine life, as well as the growing community effort to protect Port Phillip Bay from rubbish.
ARI Aquatic scientist Renae Ayres said: "Fish are harmed by litter in similar ways to birds, platypus, seals and other animals when they mistake litter, like plastics, for food and ingest it, and when they become entangled, potentially causing physical injury.
"Litter also degrades habitats, such as logs, reeds, and seagrass, which are used by fish for food, shelter and breeding."
Neil Blake, the Port Phillip Baykeeper and Executive Producer of 'Baykeepers', talked about research by Port Phillip EcoCentre on tiny microplastic pellets, called nurdles, that are polluting our rivers and the Bay. As plastic pollution persists in the environment for hundreds of years it has enormous potential to impact wildlife and people. Monitoring plastics in and around the Bay will help improve practices to prevent litter at its source. Neil encouraged people to Reduce, Refuse, Reuse, Recycle and Remove plastic items.
Local people and community groups, like Point Cook Open Spaces, Werribee River Association, Beach Patrol 3030 and Friends of Skeleton Creek, are actively helping repair local waterways by removing rubbish, replanting trees, monitoring water quality, and advocating for action to improve waterway health.
John Forrester, the Werribee Riverkeeper and President of Werribee River Association, spoke about the research and advocacy of the Werribee River Association, and their successful initiative Beach Patrol 3030, which is enjoying great community support.
To find out more or get involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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