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Our marine & coastal care initiatives
Caring for our coastline
The City of Randwick's 29 kilometres of coastline holds a special significance for residents and visitors alike. It is a place where people come to relax, enjoy the ocean views and fresh air, or take a refreshing dip in the ocean.
Yet for all its spectacular and rugged features, our coastline is an extremely complex and fragile natural environment.
Coastcare Week and Ocean Care Day are usually held in the first week of December each year to celebrate everything we love about our coastline.
An important part of both of these events is to remind us all of the responsibility we share in protecting these precious areas, now and into the future.
The impact of over six million visitors to our beaches each year creates huge pressure on the sustainability of our foreshore areas.
Protecting coastal habitats
The beaches, parks and pockets of remnant vegetation all provide essential habitat for native birds and animals. Without this habitat we may lose our precious birds and animals. Many of our local Bushcare volunteer groups work along the coastal strip to help preserve these areas for all to enjoy.
Where does the rubbish on our beaches come from?
Many residents and visitors may not realise the majority of coastal pollution originates from our streets and suburbs.
Much of the rubbish left on our streets and footpaths is carried by stormwater through the drains and is washed up on our beaches. So it is important to put your rubbish in garbage bins and not litter our streets and avoid putting items like unused paints, detergents from washing cars or even excess garden fertilizers down our street drains.
Council has installed gross pollutant traps (GPTs) in many coastal locations to trap some of these larger items of rubbish via the stormwater, and prevent it ending up on our beaches. These GPTs are often cleaned especially after major rain events that can leave them full of rubbish, branches and other organic material.
With the high numbers of visitors to our beaches, the biggest litter problems are plastic straws, plastic bags, food wrappers, bottle tops and cigarette butts.
Many of these items injure and kill marine life. Public recycling bins are available along our beaches and town centre areas as well as standard rubbish bins to encourage beach visitors to do the right thing with their rubbish and drink containers.
Monitoring Randwick's beaches
Since 1989, the Beachwatch Program has been monitoring the water quality at Sydney's beaches.Beachwatch involves routine water samples being taken at our beaches for testing against key indicators of pollution.
The results are collated and available to the public in regular media reports and on the Beachwatch website.
Our beaches are among the cleanest
The good news is that Clovelly, Maroubra and Malabar beaches are consistently among the cleanest in the metropolitan area, while Coogee also rates highly.
Over the past few years, Clovelly, Coogee, Maroubra and Malabar beaches have all received awards and commendations in the annual Keep Australia Beautiful Clean Beach Challenge.
As well as cleanliness, these regional and state-wide awards take into account Council's management of the beach and the surrounding area, community involvement, and they are highly contested.
How you can care for our coastline
We all share the responsibility to look after our environment and to ensure that our beaches and coastline, which are a vital part of our community, are protected.
These are some of the ways in which you can help protect our environment:
- The ocean and foreshore between Coogee and Bronte Beach is a declared aquatic reserve. This means there are restrictions on spear fishing and the taking or collecting of Blue Groper, shell-fish and other sea creatures including:
- sea urchins
- empty shells
- Don't pour chemicals, paints or oils down the drain. They should be taken to special chemical clean-up sites.
- Keep to defined paths and walkways and avoid damaging coastal plants. By destroying vegetation you are also destroying the natural habitat of birds, reptiles and insect species.
- Pick up your dog's droppings and place them in a garbage bin. Allowing dog faeces to wash down the drain creates phosphorous-rich nutrients in the ocean, which encourages harmful algae.
- Don't feed seagulls, pigeons and other pest birds. These pests take over the breeding areas of significant native and migratory bird species.
Become a Bushcare volunteer
Our Bushcare bush regeneration program includes coastal areas.
We work on many sites around the Randwick area:
- Removing weeds
- Planting indigenous plants
- Installing soil erosion controls
You can join other Bushcare volunteers and work with Council's Bushcare Officer on the bush regeneration program at any time throughout the year.
See our Bushcare page for details.