KIAMA residents have been urged to ‘‘take three’’ and be environmentally conscious of the municipality’s beaches, or eventually face a future without being able to enjoy them.
Tim Silverwood, co-founder of Take 3, a not-for-profit organisation formed to work to clean up the world’s beaches, visited two of the municipality’s schools on Friday, in conjunction with the recent World Environment Day.
Mr Silverwood also warned that if not properly planned for, periods of peak tourism could take a toll.
The environment workshops took place at Minnamurra Public School and Saints Peter and Paul Primary schools.
Take 3’s message is to take three pieces of rubbish with you when you leave the beach, waterway or anywhere else.
Take 3 regularly features in major news outlets including ABC 3’s Behind the News program.
At Saints Peter and Paul’s, Mr Silverwood engaged with the school’s year 5 and 6 students.
“We come down to these school presentations and workshops, I suppose to firstly educate the students and really inspire them to want to take action,’’ he said.
‘‘Then the great thing about the second part of it is that we actually break them up into groups and let them come up with the ideas.
‘‘Because often, to come in here and just say, ‘do this, do that’, you’re not going to get anywhere near the same sort of traction whereas if the students actually create the ideas.’’
Mr Silverwood said such education from a young age was critical.
“It’s a global problem that we’re trying to educate on here.
‘‘Even in our areas that have fantastic waste management and infrastructure to deal with it, we’re still suffering from the impacts in our waterways because of pollution that’s travelling here on the ocean currents.
‘‘That’s always evident, but obviously we do enforce and try to encourage as many local areas to be proactive on this issue, because it’s tourism appeal, it’s stewardship, it’s what we all need to be doing.’’
Mr Silverwood said he believed that if not properly planned for, peak tourism periods could have long-term negative effects on Kiama’s beaches.
‘‘I think you’re similar in this area to where I’m from on the Central Coast, in that you do get large influxes of tourism, and that can be a difficult time to manage waste,’’ he said.
‘‘So it sounds like the local council are quite supportive and looking for some funding to target litter in those tourism times and certain hot spots.
‘‘I think just supporting the community, getting involved in the schools program is a fantastic way of planning for the future, and future-proofing issues like this.
‘‘You’ve got wonderful beaches, wonderful wildlife around here, and it’s all worth protecting.
‘‘We all have a responsibility in that, and that’s why the Take 3 message is just a great one, because we can all participate, and we can all feel good about being part of the solution.”
Saints Peter and Paul year 5 student Jaden Lewis enjoyed the experience.
“I learnt that all the birds and animals can get sick and die from what we are doing by littering.
“We should take responsibility for our actions, and Take 3.”
Mr Silverwood will attend a screening of the documentary Trashed, featuring Academy Award-winning actor Jeremy Irons at The Pavilion tonight.
He’ll take part in a question and answer session after the film finishes.
Light refreshments and soups will be available.
The event is free, but bookings are needed for catering purposes and moviegoers are asked to bring a pre-loved book to donate to Lifeline’s Big Book Fair Collection.
To make a booking, contact Kiama Council on 4232 0444.