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.

 Continuing on with our chat with Featured speaker Sarah-Jo Lobwein and the work she does in regards to single use plastics #swapforthesea 2. Plastics - what can’t you avoid or still struggle with finding an alternative? . “Dried Dog food that’s not overly expensive (but recently found a brand that is meant to be home compostable packaging but will have to see if it passes my dog’s taste test!), potato and corn crisps (there seems to be alternative to all other snack packaging except for these) and CDs – I have always loved the joy of purchasing a new music CD and most come in plastic hard or paperboard plastic covered. Those three all have alternatives, but they are my naughty weaknesses. . The main struggle for me, as a someone who is gluten AND lactose intolerant AND travels to remote places, is sometimes I have to eat a lot of rice or just accept the plastic until I find a way to get the venue or place to change. Usually I take my own packaging with me and then bring it home to recycle, for example when I am home my bread comes in paper or reusable bags, but travelling I will take with me gluten free bread in plastic sealed bags.” . Plastic Free July example of a ready to go reusable kit you can have waiting by the door as you head out. . . . . . . . . #waronwaste #waste #saynotoplastics #refuse #recycle #reuse #repurpose #upcycle #protectourgulf #saveouroceans #gogreen #nature #conservation #climateaction #marinedebris #beachcleanup #bethechange #adelaide #fogsv #friendsofgulfstvincent
 Continuing on with our chat with Featured speaker Sarah-Jo Lobwein and the work she does in regards to single use plastics #swapforthesea . 1. Plastics - what have become your favourite swap items? . “There are technological advancements and inventions, (or rediscoveries of what society used before we became addicted to plastic), all the time that amaze me – straws made out of wheat for example, and consumable soft bio plastic packaging of pasta made out of algae that we can just throw into boiling water etc. . But my favourites are the every day items – reusable, take your own or compostable straws, cutlery, takeaway containers, coffee cups, water bottles, shopping bags, paper bin bags and produce bags because they are so easy and accessible –humans were using them before plastic was invented or became prolific. The ones that reduce waste in general such reusable or not using an item at all is the best solution (such as not using a straw), and then compostable such as paper or bamboo. . Personally I can’t believe how empty my bins are once I phased out most plastics – I use the paper sandwich/ mushroom veggie bags or paper retail shopping bags for my bin and wash out the bin if it gets dirty (and there are businesses now that can come clean your bins!) - there is always an alternative.” . . . . . . . . #waronwaste #waste #saynotoplastics #refuse #recycle #reuse #repurpose #upcycle #protectourgulf #saveouroceans #gogreen #nature #conservation #climateaction #marinedebris #beachcleanup #bethechange #adelaide #fogsv #friendsofgulfstvincent

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