Polluted stormwater flowing from the Torrens after rain in winter 2010

The short answer to that question is – we do!

Before European settlement the gulf ecosystem was protected from stormwater inflows by the extensive low-lying, reedy swamps behind the coastal dunes.

Those areas have now been largely drained and built upon, and stormwater is funneled directly into gulf waters via the Torrens and other rivers and concrete storm drains.

When suburbs and industry began developing in Adelaide there were few, if any, environmental protections. Tanneries and other factories discharged waste directly into streams, drains, or onto land. Contaminated soil is still being remediated throughout the Adelaide Plains.

Sediment plume following dredging of the Port River at Outer Harbour in 2005

The Port River, as a focus of industry and shipping for the State, was very significantly affected by industrial pollution and, further, by regular dredging and by shipping threats such as oil spills and ballast water.

Some years ago, wastewater treatment discharges from Bolivar, Glenelg and Christies Beach were shown to be the main source of the nutrients that were causing death of seagrasses of the Adelaide metro coast. In the past few decades improved sewage treatment processing has greatly reduced the nutrient discharges, but there are still other serious polluters, such as Penrice Soda.

Have you seen the Torrens outlet at West Beach after heavy rain? Stormwaters flowing out of the Torrens are typically loaded with sediments washed from its catchment – off building sites, roads and carparks. This fine sediment sits off the coast, settling after a few days of calm weather and stirred up again by wind and waves. The sediment is now a more or less permanent feature between West Beach and Tennyson.

Despite significant improvements in waste processing and disposals and better environmental awareness and controls there will continue to be threats to the gulf from dredging, chemical and oil spills, nutrients and sediments.

We need to keep working on making things better.

 We continue our conversation with featured speaker Sarah-Jo Lobwein about the work she does regarding single use plastics #swapforthesea . What has been your favourite or most impactful achievement to date? . “When another local venue or business in my local council area contacts us to work with them or to promote that they have embraced plastic-free alternatives, they add to the growing tide of change happening locally and globally. . This then adds more support, influence and encouragement for more businesses and individuals to become aware and change their behaviours. . Personally, working with the next generations also has a great personal, local and global impact. Children are amazed and shocked when they find out what items consist of plastic (such as chewing gum) or why a product cannot be recycled, or why an animal has died from plastic pollution. . They innocently yet intelligently ask “why” we use single use plastics and why companies use ‘hidden’ plastics without public notification and think of easy solutions rather than making excuses to keep polluting. . They still go and purchase an ice cream wrapped in plastic packaging, but the seed is planted in their thoughts, and it is not their responsibility that the packaging is harmful; it is the brand’s responsibility to be providing a sustainable option.” . To our #FoGSV Community, what impact can you have? Think of the ripple effect, your action can and will have an onflow affect. You can influence family, friends, your work and local businesses just by being an inspiration in your own circle of influence. . . . . . . #waronwaste #waste #saynotoplastics #refuse #recycle #reuse #repurpose #upcycle #protectourgulf #saveouroceans #gogreen #nature #conservation #climateaction #marinedebris #beachcleanup #bethechange #adelaide #fogsv #friendsofgulfstvincent
 . Following on from our first instalment, we hear more on Sarah-Jo’s presentation and look out at the end, you may be shocked! . Please provide a brief overview of your talk topic: . “Sea Change - Local plastic pollution, marine conservation and Community Empowerment through Education, Awareness, and Action to change attitudes and practices and  #SWAPFORTHESEA - empowering the community and individuals to change their behaviour by discussing and embracing simple everyday, sustainable swaps that are easy to do, and will drastically reduce your plastic consumption while maintaining a ‘convenient’ lifestyle! . Immiscible - why water and plastics do not mix - simple solutions to avoid single use plastic pollution to Stop the sea drowning in plastic - Global pollution, Global solution - raising the awareness of contributing countries, communities and individuals. . Simple plastic-free alternatives and choices to follow without changing our convenient lifestyles at home and while travelling the seven seas, which will have a huge positive effect for the ocean, the flora and fauna and ultimately ourselves! An engaging look at a serious problem including the ‘hidden’ plastics we use (did you know most chewing gum is made of plastic?), the effects on marine life and humans, and easy preventative actions for individuals.” . Did you know about the chewing gum?  . . . . . . #waronwaste #waste #saynotoplastics #refuse #recycle #reuse #repurpose #upcycle #protectourgulf #saveouroceans #gogreen #nature #conservation #climateaction #marinedebris #beachcleanup #bethechange #adelaide #fogsv #friendsofgulfstvincent

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