Litter programme sponsors sought
Ka¯ piti College students seeks help to continue Litter Intelligence
Ka¯piti College students are asking local businesses for funding support to help cover the cost of ferry transport to Ka¯piti Island so they can continue their research into the impacts of marine litter on the Ka¯piti Marine Reserve and surrounding marine and coastal area.
The students have been conducting regular litter surveys and wider area clean-ups on Ka¯piti Island for the past two years as part of a nationwide beach litter monitoring programme called Litter Intelligence.
The programme is run by award winning charity Sustainable Coastlines and supported locally by the Guardians of Ka¯piti Marine Reserve and the Department of Conservation (DoC).
The volunteers are trained to collect the data to a high standard of scientific rigour using a survey methodology that has been adapted from the United Nations Marine Debris Survey Guidelines.
The data is submitted to the national litter database where it is available for use by central and local government, communities and other stakeholders to better understand the problem and take actions to reduce the incidence and impacts of marine litter on the coastal and marine environment.
The data will eventually be used to report to the United Nations on New Zealand’s progress toward
We have been surprised at the variety of litter that washes ashore on the island with a mix of fishing, aquaculture, rural and domestic sources all contributing to the problem, with plastic the most common material found. Joy Knight
achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
For the past 21⁄2 years Sustainable Coastlines has been providing funding support to cover the cost of the ferry for transporting volunteers to the island four times per year.
This funding is no longer available and so Ka¯piti College students and rubbish scientists Joy Knight and Amelia Weide have decided to start a fundraising campaign to help fund the ongoing cost of ferry transport.
“Marine litter is a major risk to our coastal and marine environment and the biodiversity it supports,” rubbish scientist Joy Knight said.
“By collecting litter data and conducting regular wider area cleanups of the island’s coastline we can both reduce the immediate impact of litter on wildlife as well as using the data we collect to track litter back to its sources and come up with solutions to reduce this growing problem.
“We have been surprised at the variety of litter that washes ashore on the island with a mix of fishing, aquaculture, rural and domestic sources all contributing to the problem, with plastic the most common material found. It’s been interesting and concerning to observe how quickly new litter accumulates in the areas we’ve been cleaning up which highlights the persistent nature of marine litter and the need for ongoing efforts to clean up the coastline as well as solutions further up the waste hierarchy that reduce the amount of waste produced in the first place.”
The students need to raise $2000 to cover the cost of ferry transport for four-six volunteers for each of the four trips per year to the island.
To sponsor a trip or donate to this project contact Ben Knight on 0221974100 or contactbenknight@icloud. com.