Community groups come together to protect Bay dolphins

Community groups come together to protect Bay dolphins

On Clean Up Australia Day, Sunday 5th March, the Marine Mammal Foundation (MMF) is teaming up with Marine Care Ricketts Point and Beach Patrol 3193 to make a difference for the Bay’s iconic and endangered Burrunan dolphins.

Dr Kate Charlton-Robb, MMFs Founding Director, who formally discovered and named the Burrunan dolphin, says “Litter and waste is a significant threat to marine mammals world-wide, with an estimated 14 million tons of plastic entering our oceans annually.”

“We spend hundreds of hours on the Bay conducting our research, with many of those hours spent collecting rubbish. We see the impact litter has on the marine environment, and in particular the animals that call the Bay home. With only 120 Burrunan dolphins that call the Bay home, there is so much more we can do to protect them.” Dr Charlton-Robb said.

“We know that litter in Port Phillip is largely staying local, which gives us the great opportunity to take action, do something…change something, look at consumer behaviour and our over reliance in single-use plastics…and importantly make a difference in our local area.”

MMF, Marine Care Ricketts Point and Beach Patrol 3193, all local community and not-for-profit organisations, share a common goal of reducing the litter along our shoreline and ultimately ending up in our marine environment.

The Australia Day Clean Up location, Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary, is so valuable to marine life, resident and migratory birds and is one of only three Marine Sanctuaries in Port Phillip Bay. “Not only does this clean-up make the beaches safer and cleaner, it serves to protect marine creatures great and small, from the tiniest invertebrates to the seals and dolphins.” Dr Charlton-Robb said.

From very simple beginnings, Clean Up Australia Day has grown to be the largest community-based environmental event. In 26 years, Australians have devoted more than 31 million hours and collected over 331 thousand tonnes of rubbish.

The coverage can be found at the Herald-Sun Leader.

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