National Day of Action 2022 Wrap Up


💥 410 Volunteers engaged 💥

💥 35 stakeholder groups 💥

💥 307.8 kg of litter removed from local environments 💥

💥 8850 pieces of litter surveyed (70% of which was plastic) 💥


A massive thank you and congratulations to all involved who made the day not only special but created positive and lasting change for our local and global environments.


Read on for a rundown of the day’s highs, location by location.

What a day: Conservation Volunteers Australia's National Day of Action 2022

Warning: Beach Cleanups can be addictively interesting. Photo by Nicholas Kofiotis





Boonwurrung Elder Janet Gaplin connected everyone to Country with an educational and captivating Welcome. Janet highlighted the need for early years’ initiatives and spoke about the potential of this year’s National Day of Action for a restored, collaborative and connected fight against plastic, and the inherent rights of First Nations People. Janet even had time to collect over 100 cigarette butts before flying off to her next engagement!

Aside from this, another highlight of the day was having 10 of our brilliant Nature Ambassadors join us. Their help to ensure the smooth running of the event was incredibly valuable and made the day the success that it was – thanks to you all.

Other highs of the day included:

  • Captain Trash the infamous alter ego of the Port Phillip Bay Keeper, aka Neil Blake, arrived in style, playing his electric ukulele and bringing cheer to all. Captain Trash has been engaging volunteers with a new microplastic survey that he’s set up around the bay, which the crowd was fascinated to learn more about.
  • Eco Arts company the Trash Puppets and their band of incredible artists turned litter into magical dragon puppets and butterflies before our eyes ⎻ this super fun activity had all ages engaged.
  • Plastic Oceans Australasia gave out heaps of prizes for those lucky enough to find the elusive magnetic soy sauce fish amongst the chip packets!
  • Lids4Kids traveled from Geelong to help host the day’s event, collecting corks, bottle caps and bread tags from the beach cleans that they will now repurpose into a range of products and gifts.
  • Kristy Cullen from Sandringham East Primary had a selection of touch tanks that included starfish, sea sponges, and shells, demonstrating how diverse the Port Phillip Bay is and how litter affects a variety of species.
  • St Kilda Beach patrol helped massively with data collection, introductions to the Litterstopper App, and safety on the day.

A huge thank you to all involved in the day, and here’s to many more to come.


Community matters: Melbourne's National Day of Action 2022

Some of our star contributors in action. Photo by Sarah Clarke



Beginning with a wonderful smoking ceremony and Welcome To Country courtesy of Elder Eric Brown of Dhawaral land, we ushered in a fortunately bright and sunny day (despite forecasts for rain) at our Sydney event, on the home of the Bidjigal, Gweagal and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. Participants in the ceremony commented how they felt “grounded by his words,” and experienced “an important connection to country and a responsibility to care for our planet.”

  • We engaged 57 people (52 volunteers + 5 stallholders)
  • Collected 13.3kgs of litter (mostly microplastics!)
  • From the volunteers that surveyed our litter, we counted 1065 pieces of litter ⎻ 99.93% of which were plastic.

Both Channel 10 and SBS turned up to collect footage, and we also got some awesome photos to capture the day thanks to our photographer, Nicholas Kofiotis.

The overall feedback from the day was great, and volunteers said they learned a lot. Many were surprised by what we found on the beach (lots of cotton buds and lollipop sticks) and learned later in our workshop.

Some park visitors stopped by to learn from our stalls and people watching our cleanup passed along their details so they could get involved in future cleanups, which was a wonderful bonus from the day.


Eric Brown Dhawaral Welcome To Country National Day Of Action 2022

“No matter where we come from, we all share the same sun and planet.” Elder Eric Brown. Photo by Nicholas Kofiotis



A whirlwind of a day! The number of volunteers who turned up exceeded pre-event bookings by 5 times ⎻ an outstanding turnout.

Volunteers collected a total of 127.5 kg of rubbish, including a fishing rod, 3 tires, and a shopping trolley!

A sample of 0.6 kg of the rubbish revealed 180 cigarette butts, 150 other pieces of plastic,19 pieces of other litter, 1 dead cormorant, and a few invasive sea stars (collected thanks to the UTAS Dive Club). Overall, the percentage of plastic was around 80% of everything picked up.

Stalls included Sea Shepherd, Clarence Climate Action, Bellerive and Howrah Coastcare Groups, UTAS Dive Club, UTAS Environment Society, and our awesome guest speakers ⎻ Adrift Lab. Makan Culture made us a fabulous zero-waste vegan curry for lunch, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

The weather was stunning in Hobart and everyone had a brilliant time. Kids and adults alike showed up in huge numbers to do their part for nature, which was amazing and inspiring to see. Thank you, Hobart.


Conservation Volunteers Australia's National Day of Action 2022

Nothing stood in the way of Hobart’s volunteer crew who showed up for nature in droves. Photo by Ash Carden



Perth had a beautiful National Day of Action with the weather turning it on (which was a considerable upgrade to last year’s stormy event)!

Over 100 volunteers removed a total of 80.6 kg of litter from Leighton Beach and counted 3586 items for CSIRO data analysis. Paper food packaging and cardboard were the most-found litter items at Leighton Beach, with plastic coming in a close second.

Highlights of the day included a lovely Welcome to Country by Whadjuk Nyungar Elder, Marie Taylor, and of course, the wonderful stallholders, including Sea Shepherd, Recycle Right Rangers, Australian Marine Conservation Society, and Protect Ningaloo. On top of that, there was an art installation for participants to unleash their creativity, and Recycle Right Rangers brought a human-sized snakes and ladders game to educate us all about waste management. All in all, a great success.

And a special shoutout to all the Nature Ambassadors who helped ⎻ it simply couldn’t be done without you. Thank you also to everyone who attended and the support from the City of Fremantle.

Looking forward to seeing the Perth crew again next year (or at the next cleanup event ⎻ keep an eye on our upcoming opportunities).


Welcome to Country for the National Day of Action by Whadjuk Nyungar Elder, Marie Taylor

A poignant Welcome to Country by Whadjuk Nyungar Elder, Marie Taylor set the day’s tone. Photo by Jeff Fussell



In Adelaide, there were 30 registered participants, plus over 100 passersby, who together collected over 868 pieces of litter (over 7.8kg) at Henley Beach South.

Plastic items made up 54% of all litter removed from the beach, including some polystyrene.

Volunteer feedback from the day included comments such as:

“An amazing day to be out on this beautiful site.”

“Was great hearing about the hooded plovers who are until today, an almost mystical animal.”

“Really nice to know about the work CVA is doing at our waterways and are looking forward to joining in again.”


Project Officer Emily was interviewed by 7 News, and our ever-reliable photographer in Adelaide, Jake Richardson, took some epic photos. Thanks to everyone involved for the fantastic, picture-perfect blue-sky day it was.


Picture Perfect Blue Skies at Adelaide's National Day of Action 2022

This is what it’s all about. Photo by Jake Richardson.



The National Day of Action in Brisbane proved a great success. Despite the small patches of rain and the short bursts of wind throughout the morning, participants thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Community groups and stallholders at the event included Plastic Oceans Australasia, Humpbacks and High-Rises, Coral Watch, Sea Shepherd, Bayside Cleanup Crew, and Repair Café Brisbane Bayside. Participants were treated to a native wildlife demonstration facilitated by Wild Rangers, where captivated audience members had the opportunity to interact with a beautiful tawny frogmouth, slithery snakes, a cute (yes, cute) baby crocodile, and some extremely cool lizards.

The event was initiated with an Acknowledgment of Country, followed by a presentation from Queensland Chief Scientist Professor Hugh Possingham, the local Councillor of Wynnum-Manly Mr Peter Cumming, as well as CVA’s Chief Executive Officer Phil Harrison, all touching on the undeniable importance of the marine debris issue.

Throughout the event, participants chatted with stallholders, played games, and got involved in activities such as ‘Bin It To Win It’, and a beach and park cleanup.

84 volunteers collected a total of 5.6 kg of litter, which saved 1401 individual pieces of debris from entering our oceans. Plastic made up 766 of those pieces. Go, team!

During the event, we were lucky to have Reverse Garbage Queensland facilitate a marine-debris-themed art workshop, where participants made marine creatures out of upcycled materials.

A heartfelt thank you to all involved in what represented a step in the right direction and a testament to what we can achieve when we gather together as a community to take action for what matters the most.


Reverse Garbage Queensland Recycled Art Workshop National Day of Action 2022

One man’s trash…Photo by Alanna McTiernan



Prize alert

For those of you who couldn’t make it (or who did but don’t want it to stop there), check out the LitterBlitz competition now running that you can do from your very own backyard.



#NationalDayOfAction2022 #SeaToSource #EarthDayEveryDay #ActionForNature




The #SeaToSource project received grant funding from the Australian Government’s Environment Restoration Fund program.

Proudly supported by our partners

Australian Government