Making life safer below the waves on the Yarra River

We’re delighted to share this short interview with Charlotte Robinson who has been working away during lockdown to clean up litter from the Birrarung | Yarra River on Wurundjeri Country, Victoria.

Charlotte has been logging her amazing clean-up efforts through the Litterstopper App, contributing to a citizen science effort to capture ocean litter data through #SeaToSource.

Q) Charlotte, we love your commitment to enjoying the waterway in your kayak, but also cleaning up as you go! Can you tell us more about why you started doing that?
A) There are a few reasons why I started collecting litter. The first is because I am disgusted at how dirty the Yarra River is. The second reason is because it is part of my Cub Scout Awards to complete service to the community or the environment. Finally, I just love having fun on my kayak. So be picking up litter I could clean up, complete my service and have fun.

Q) What is some of the strangest litter you’ve pulled out of the river?
A) The strangest thing was a tennis ball that looked like it had been in the river for so long that there were plants (I think) growing on the outside of it.

Q) Is there other things you do to take action for nature in your life?
A) Since I was little, I have been going along to tree-planting and weed removal projects. But mostly I have picked up a lot of litter in my life anywhere I go.

Q) What’s your favourite animal, and why?
A) My favourite animal is a wombat and it is my favourite because the first time I saw one was on Mt Stirling when I was skiing. I loved the way it seemed to be playing in the snow, maybe it was just looking for food. These animals are also really special to our ecosystems and we should all take more care to look after them. I personally, just think that they are cute.

Q) What river do you kayak on mainly?
A) We (mum, dad and I) mainly kayak on the Yarra River, but before I lived in Melbourne, I kayaked in the Indian Ocean. We lived on a little group of islands called the Cocos-Keeling Islands and we had to clean up the beaches a lot there because the whole world’s rubbish would be dumped on the shore. Something to do with the ocean currents my mum tells me.

Q) Which Cub Scouts group are you a part of?
A) I am part of 1st Deepdene Cub Scouts.

Q) What’s the award, and what do you have to do for it?
A) My service is part of my Gold Boomerang. However, what I am really trying to achieve is my Grey Wolf Award, the highest award that Cub Scouts can achieve and it is a lot of work. For this award I have had to complete some achievement badges like Animals and Birds, Cooking and First Aid. Then I have to complete my Gold Boomerang award, lead a hike, do some camps and activities and do lots of other stuff with the other cubs in my pack.

HUGE thanks to Charlotte for all your work and your commitment to taking action for nature with #SeaToSource.



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