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Plastic pollution in oceans is a global problem, which detrimentally effects marine life. There are particularly high concentrations of microplastics in Sydney Harbour. A number of coastal local councils have established Harbour Care programs, however, there are regions in the harbour that do not have active volunteering programs. Additionally, certain foreshore areas in Sydney Harbour are difficult to access by foot for litter collection.

Greater Sydney Landcare Network received support from Lion Pty Limited to run four Harbour Care litter collection events. Each event targeted a different region of Sydney Harbour, Middle Head, Middle Harbour, Lane Cove River, and Rose Bay. Participants kayaked to different beaches in each of the four regions, collected and bagged rubbish. Items that were too large to bag were reported for collection using the Snap, Send & Solve mobile phone app.

Plastic and large pieces of rubbish were cleared from the Sydney Harbour foreshore, including from among mangroves in Lane Cove National Park. Volunteers who had never before participated in Landcare became involved with this event because of exposure to Facebook advertising and interest in solving the plastic pollution issue. Locals with knowledge about the area or plastic pollution were invited along to have educational discussions with participants. Knowledge about sites and routes from this project will be shared with local councils so that they can implement their own Harbour Care programs.

This program was supported by Landcare Australia and LION Pty Limited.

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