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HomeLatest NewsSmall fine issued over styrofoam pollution event at Long Reef

Small fine issued over styrofoam pollution event at Long Reef

It’s an ever present problem down at Manly Cove but the full length of the Northern Beaches was hit with waves of styrofoam pollution over the last week due, at least in part, to a marooned and destroyed homemade barge around Long Reef.

Charity group Northern Beaches Clean Up Crew have made a valiant effort ridding the affected beaches of styrofoam pieces, as have many individuals, but it is relentless and more volunteers are needed.

Volunteer vacuuming up styrofoam pieces. source: Northern Beaches Clean Up Crew

Responding to questions as to why Council had not been more involved in the clean up, Northern Beaches Mayor Sue Heins told Manly Observer the situation has been monitored with regular beach inspections since the pollution was first reported.

“In the past few days, Council used both the beach rake and manual labour to inspect and remove any washed up debris on public beaches where accessible. We will continue to remove any polystyrene debris that washes up on the beaches as necessary,” she said.

The council is responsible for the cleaning of sand, however debris was reported to still be littered in the ocean around the Manly area – falling under the jurisdiction of Maritime Services.

Following our queries. Maritime’s Environmental Services attended Shelly Beach and Fairy Bower on Monday 18 December for further investigation and clean-up.

Styrofoam pieces like this found all around Bower rock pools. source: Northern Beaches Clean Up Crew

The organisation also told Manly Observer they attended Long Reef on December 11-12 to remove any styrofoam on Collaroy beach.

Two days of further assessments and clean ups followed once the pontoon was removed on the 13th.

Transport for NSW Maritime attended Bondi December 16 after there were more reports of styrofoam pollution, but they did not believe the debris found was linked to the Long Reef barge incident.

The person responsible for the incident at Long Reef complied to a ‘Clean up Notice’ for the barge – issued under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act – to remove the barge within 48 hours.

Debris of marooned barge at Long Reef. source: Northern Beaches Clean Up Crew

Transport for NSW Maritime formally interviewed the master of the vessel that was towing the barge when it ran aground and the individual was issued with a penalty notice related to boat handling, resulting in a small fine.

After concluding an environmental assessment NSW Maritime dictated there was not enough pollution to justify a larger fine to the individual responsible and the matter is now considered closed.

You can view our summary of the local clean up efforts here.



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Manly Observer is an experiment in providing non-sensationalist hyperlocal news on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We cover the big news across the LGA, but with a hyper focus on the Manly electorate encompassing Balgowlah, Seaforth, Freshwater, Brookvale and Curl Curl up to Dee Why. It is run by those living in the community for the benefit of an informed community. We care about an informed and connected community. That’s it. Simple. Thank you for your support in keeping quality local news alive!

Kim Smee, Editor

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