Shoalhaven Riverwatch held its 2019 Clean Up Australia Day early on Tuesday, February 26.
Members were rewarded with perfect weather conditions for their effort.
Once again Riverwatch volunteers had no problem in filling the skip bin provided by Shoalhaven City Council.
This year the clean up was based at the Broughton Creek boat ramp and efforts focussed on Numbaa and Pig Island.
"We used three boats to ferry Riverwatch members to the islands, where they were able to collect rubbish in these more inaccessible areas,” said Riverwatch Clean Up coordinator Ray Davey.
“We hope the general public will commit to clean up the areas accessible by land on the weekend.”
Last year Riverwatch retrieved 23 shopping trolleys from the river near the Nowra Bridge.
This year’s rubbish was different in character.
“While we did not collect the same quantity of rubbish as last year the concerning factor is the small pieces of plastic that have become ubiquitous along the length of the river,” said Riverwatch president Peter Hanson.
“Plastic breaks into smaller pieces but does not disappear from the environment.
“These small bits of plastic, often smaller than a five cent piece, are perfect for ingestion by fish and birds.”
Member Ev Pettigrew said styrofoam was “particularly frustrating”.
“It breaks down into those really small white balls and the chances are those small bits will get eaten,” she said.
Riverwatch believes that as the public gets more accustomed to picking up litter then the trained eye will see the smaller bits of plastic that are now a feature of our environment but are still easily overlooked.
If you wish to join in a Clean Up Australia day public site this Sunday check the Clean up Australia Day website for details.