Armed with gumboots and gloves, Whakatu Rotary Club members were up to their knees in rubbish and muck on Saturday morning.
Working around the tides, the group launched a clean up of Saltwater Creek – along Vanguard St to Anzac Park – pulling everything from plastic to trolleys out of the creek.
Project organiser and Nelson City councillor, Brian McGurk, says the creek is an ugly old urban waterway.
“This section of our city’s waterways is probably one of our most neglected” says Brian. “Many people probably don’t even realise that this section of Saltwater Creek is a critical part of the region’s waterway and is consequently seen by many as nothing more than an open drain, and it is treated as such.”
Taking 30 minutes to cover a mere 50 metres, the clean up is slow, slimy work.
Saltwater Creek was once clean and full of fish but now, Brian says, there’s everything from trolleys, tyres, plastic and heavy metals to effluent and chemical run off.
“Carpet is probably the weirdest thing we’ve found so far.”
Volunteer Royce Lock says it all collects like a great big sieve.
“It’s shocking and disappointing, especially considering that all the trolleys are only fifty yards away from their source.”
This is the second time the Whakatu Rotary have cleaned the Nelson waterway, everything pulled has been placed there since June this year.
The project was supported by Nelmac, Betta Bins and the Nelson City Council.
Nelson City Council’s Jo Martin also came down to lend a hand.
“It’s really great that these people give up their own time to help look after the Nelson environment.”