Community and Education news

Big Beach Clean Up 2017
7 March 2017

Cawthron’s Coastal Clean Up 2017

Over forty Cawthron-ites swapped their test tubes for rubbish bags and restored the south side of Rabbit Island back beach. Their work was part of the Nelson-Tasman Seaweek 2017 Big Beach Clean Up.

Cawthron Institute Algal Biochemist Dr Jonathan Puddick coordinated their involvement, “I decided to organise Cawthron’s Big Beach Clean Up effort because I think it’s a great way to get people to think about what happens to the rubbish they don’t dispose of properly, it ends up getting blown into our rivers, then drifts into the ocean, where it causes harm to marine animals.

“At Cawthron, one thing our scientists work on is figuring out how we can better utilise marine resources to have the least environmental impact possible. I think that aligns really nicely with the Big Beach Clean Up, an event which tries to lessen human impact on the marine environment.”

Cawthron Institute Algal Biochemist Dr Jonathan Puddick with the haul

The team found the usual suspects littered on the beach: plastic bags (which marine animals mistake for jellyfish and eat), discarded fishing equipment (which marine animals get tangled in), and the plastic rings from drink bottles (which get caught around smaller animals causing pain and disfigurement as they grow).

They also recovered a rusty car radiator, a baby’s high chair, a car tire, cushions, and two abandoned stuffed toys.

Approximately one-fifth of Cawthron staff participated and Dr Puddick was pleased with the enthusiasm, “Our staff are passionate about protecting the environment and doing our bit to make the world a better place. The Big Beach Clean Up is one more way we can do that.

“It’s an amazingly gratifying experience to see the enthusiasm of people who come out to help with these events. I extend a big thank you to DOC, Nelson City Council, Tasman District Council, and Nelmac who organised the overall Nelson-Tasman Big Beach Clean Up,” said Dr Puddick.

Cawthron’s Coastal Clean Up 2017 from Cawthron Institute on Vimeo.

Cawthron CE Professor Charles Eason enjoyed the day and said, “It’s a great initiative this Big Beach Clean Up, and it’s really empathic with our culture of wanting to see clean streams, clean oceans, and productive seas.”

Cawthron scientists provide world-class research, technology, and advice for sustainable management of marine ecosystems and resources.

Listen to Dr Puddick talk about the Big Beach Clean Up on The Breeze


Media contact: Nicole Taber | Communications and Marketing Advisor

Phone: +64 3 539 3212