Are you active in the coastal waste and marine debris space or would you like to be?
Bookend in partnership with the Alcorso Foundation and with support from Regional NRM is holding information sharing events in Launceston (3rd), Hobart (4th), and Burnie (12th) in June. RSVP 26th May2014. The aim is for everyone who is currently participating in beach cleanups, monitoring debris or has an active program to reduce waste to come and share their experiences. We are hoping to understand what is collectively happening across Tasmania. The format will be a keynote talk by a marine specialist, followed by presentations by participants; 3 slides 5 minutes for everyone who registers for the event (time will be strictly kept). This will be followed by a workshop session on what people think is working, what’s not and what we could do better to manage waste and debris. The objective is to see how all the individual efforts are contributing to cleaning up coastal waste across Tasmania.
Tasmanian Coastal Waste and Marine Debris
An investigation into causal factors and education strategies to address coastal waste and marine debris across Tasmania's coastlines, conducted between the Alcorso Foundation, Bookend Trust and the University of Tasmania's Facilty of Education
Tasmania is the only Australian state to have its entire border consisting of coast. This leaves the state highly susceptible to the accumulation of rubbish and debris from both land and sea based sources. This also provides a unique opportunity for Tamsania to become a leader tackling marine debris. Several action groups and education initiatives across Tasmania and Australia are delivering effective programs to clean up rubbish from our coasts and educate people about the sources of this waste and the impacts on the coastal environment. However greater co-ordination amoung these projects and an understanding of the types of actions and strategies that drive people to change their behaviour will assist in addressing the underlying issues of how waste ends up in our coastal and marine environments in the first place. A proactive and integrated approach to reducing Tasmania’s coastal waste is needed, targeting a range of audiences.
Through engagement with key industry and community partners, and connections with existing initiatives, this project aims to raise awareness and develop meaningful strategies and tools to facilitate actions that will redeuce the incidence of marine debris and its impact on coastal wildlife, ecosystems and landscapes. Data collected will be shared with community, industry and government to highlight issues, heighten awareness and provide recommendations for educational strategies towards influencing behaviour change.
As a part of this project, through a PhD Elite under the supervisory leadership of Dr Allen Hill, a statewide multi-disciplinary research project investigating marine debris issues and attitudes around Tasmania will be undertaken by Leah Page, recent Capacity Building Officer for the highly successful Southern Coastcare Association of Tasmania (SCAT).
The main focus of this research will be to identify causal factors contributing to coastal waste and marine debris in order to develop educational strategies for schools, community, business and industry.
This project has developed from the highly successful and award winning Coastwatchers programme run by Bookend in 2012 and the Alcorso Foundation's strong commitment to environmental education for the on-going sustainability benefit of Tasmania and future generations of Tasmanians.
Leah Page: PhD Elite Candidate:
Leah Page has a Bachelor of Science with Honours in marine ecology and research experience in behavioural ecology, evolutionary biology and ethology. Leah’s honours project involved the study of vision and behaviour of a small box jellyfish species found in southern Australian waters. Leah has worked on marine science research projects both in Australia and the United States and many collaborative coastal projects here in Tasmania.
Over the past 10 years Leah has been instrumental in the growth of a not-for-profit coastcare organisation that supports local coastcare volunteers and raises awareness about coastal issues with the broader community. She has also been working for state and local government and other non government organisations to deliver community focused, coastal management outcomes and communication products.
“I am passionate about community education and coastal protection. I believe this project is an incredibly exciting opportunity to understand people’s attitudes towards coastal waste and their awareness of the impacts and causes. With this knowledge I see enormous potential to create strategies and tools to engage schools, industry and local communities in the coastal waste story.
I believe that education is critical to engendering sustainable changes in practice and behaviour.” – Leah Page