A letter from William
10 November 2013 | by Robyn Benken
William Parkinson wrote the letter (below) to the Post newspaper. CCA volunteers spend lots of time picking up rubbish, which has often been carelessly discarded with no thought to the problems caused to the environment and to marine life. We love our coast too and encourage everyone to take care of it!
“I love the reefy beaches south of the Cottesloe groyne. The surfing and snorkelling opportunities are superb. The only problem is in winter they act like a gold pan, instead of gold particles, plastic debris is concentrated and flung onto the beaches. Most of the debris is caused by unintentional littering by beachgoers in summer. Items I have found include swimming goggles, flippers, surfboard fins, watches, fishing gear, plastic children’s toys and leg ropes. My gripe is with tennis balls and sunglasses. This year I have picked up hundreds of each, and filled the green wheelie bins along Marine Parade as I am sure rubbish truck drivers have noticed. Please if you take your dog to the beach, don’t take a tennis ball and throw it into the sea, as it will probably end up popped at the bottom of the sea. Sunglasses should not be worn into the sea. The odds of losing them is extremely high! Our epoch is likely to be known as the Anthropocene . I am doing my best to stop plastic becoming part of future beach sediments (Yes, I am crazy!). Note that even though there are a good number of dedicated people picking up the rubbish on the beach and disposing of it properly, an awful lot of debris of human origin is not washed up and is slowly but surely accumulating underwater out of sight. It is up to all of us to look after our environment”.
William Parkinson 29 October 2013
We have posted many photos over the years taken by Mark Binns while he has been snorkelling along the reef in south Cottesloe. Mark’s photos of a Port Jackson shark caught in fishing line and a flathead, slowly dying, caught in sunglasses are graphic evidence of the damage our rubbish does to marine life. The good news is that in both these two incidences Mark was able to free the fish.
Let’s hope more people will listen to Mark and William and take more care with rubbish.