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What about the Waterways

Written by Amelia Strazdins

Beaches, oceans, lakes, streams, all these waterways play a crucial role in Australia’s ecosystems and marine environments. These waterways are home to a wide variety of plant and animal species, encouraging biodiversity and tourists.

Bribie is no exception with our gorgeous beaches and resident dolphins. As the warmer months approach and the tourist season draws closer, it falls upon us to reiterate the importance of protecting and maintaining clean, unpolluted waterways. The month of September brings our awareness to the importance of ensuring clean marine environments through two internationally recognised events.

World maritime day recognises the various marine vessels used across the globe for transport, leisure, and shipping. This year’s theme draws upon greener transitions in order to ensure a more sustainable future. Such a theme extends to global organisations and governments but also encourages communities and the individual to understand what role they can play in ensuring their marine activities do not cause harm.

Global environmental health day also outlines similar notions as the maritime theme but extends to all environments, particularly those close to home. For us here on Bribie our marine environment is one of the most predominant aspects of our surroundings. As a community it falls upon us to ensure we implement practices to keep beaches and underwater environments clean and to educate others about these practices.

Many simple actions can be adopted to assist in reducing pollution and harm to our wonderful waterways. Ensuring rubbish is picked up and safely disposed of after a fun day on the beach prevents it from making its way into the sea or becoming an animal’s lunch. Items such as plastic bags and fishing wire pose a particularly high risk given their transparency. Buying reef safe sunscreen, which can be easily found at a chemist or local shops, ensures that chemicals do not leach into the water, which can cause harm to marine plants, particularly corals, whilst polluting the water.

Local community groups, such as BIEPA, have already identified the significance of maintaining and protecting our marine environments. Organised events, such as beach clean ups, are open for public participation.

Whether you’re a tourist to a waterway or a local, it is always important to ensure local rules are being abided by, such as respecting designated no swim zones. Fun activities can still be had by all, but in small waterways or areas where lots of marine life is present using a paddle board instead of a jet ski can help minimise damage. Part of educating ourselves about our marine ecosystems and areas includes knowing when and where to use marine vehicles.

We all love a day at the beach, or a paddle down the passage. So next time you go for a dip or take a walk across the bridge consider what we can do to help preserve and protect these beautiful environments.


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