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Posted on 23/12/2019 by Phillip Island Nature Parks

Island Wide, Along the Tide – a Marine Debris Event

A major clean-up along Phillip Island’s coastline on Saturday 4 January is set tackle the growing problem of marine debris on our beaches.

Phillip Island Nature Parks, Plastic Free Phillip Island and Boomerang Bags are coordinating this annual community activity, and based on last year’s successful event, they are expecting a large turnout of community members and holiday makers who are keen to protect the marine environment.

The Island Wide Along the Tide event will not only remove rubbish from beaches right across the Island, but also improve habitat for wildlife and inspire current and future generations to reduce their plastic consumption to protect the environment.

“We have been observing alarming impacts of marine plastics on our local marine wildlife, particularly in our seabirds and seals,” said Claire Jinnette, Phillip Island Nature Parks Education and Interpretation Ranger, and coordinator of this event.

“We frequently free Australian fur seals from plastic entanglement, little penguins are using plastic as nesting material and we have observed a high percentage of deceased short-tailed shearwater fledglings to have ingested plastics.”

“This event is a great chance for the community to come together and make a positive impact for our marine wildlife, with several different opportunities for all ages to get involved.”

Beach cleans will take place between 10am – 12pm to remove the debris off the beaches, and interested locals are invited to meet with a Nature Parks Ranger at 10am in the car park at Smiths Beach, Cape Woolamai or Berrys Beach, the Jetty Triangle at Cowes Beach, or the Penguin Parade Visitor Centre for a clean-up of Summerland Beach.

From 1pm – 4pm in the afternoon, St Phillips Hall in Cowes will come alive as volunteers will become citizen scientists, helping to collect data on the different types and amounts of marine debris which we are finding locally while leading marine science researchers deliver presentations on the state of the oceans and local wildlife.

“Over the past two years local volunteers of our Turn the Tide program have removed over 100,000 pieces of marine debris off our beaches and this number is set to increase after this clean-up on 4 January.”

Bring along a pair of garden gloves if you can, wear closed toe shoes and weather protective clothing. All participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

If you would like to contribute a rubbish collection from a different beach or require further information, please email the Nature Parks’ team at


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