4 Cormorants swiming with a garbage bin lid

This was just a small section of the bottles that had come from the stormwater drain that enters directly into the Cooks River at Tempe harbour.

I saw something I thought was profoundly beautiful on the Cooks River at Tempe on Saturday.  Cormorants had moved in to perch on a boat to catch the last rays of sun & watch the river before a spot of fishing.  The owner of the boat may have not been too happy, but for others & us having a walk around the water it was a great sight.

30-metres down towards Holbeach Avenue we saw 4 Cormorants fishing right next to a floating orange garbage bin lid that someone had tossed into the water that day or the previous night.  All week people had been picking up this lid from where it had blown or was thrown hoping that Marrickville Council would replace the bin now that it was broken. No such luck.

Another 20-metres away we came to the end of the boat harbour inlet to see a cluster of plastic bottles gathered around a stormwater drain.  The next tide or two will pick these up & send them up the river to add to the thousands of plastic bottles lining the river there.

It would be great if people didn’t litter, but until there is money in it for them via a Cash-for-Containers scheme or there is an anti-litter education blitz, it is likely that they won’t stop.

My question is simple. Why can’t Marrickville Council put a floating boom here & a net that is connected to the pipe to capture all the plastic bottles & other garbage so it can be removed before it gets into the river?  It seems the obvious thing to do & one that would also pay back handsomely in terms of managing pollution along the river.

This is not the only drain like this that goes into the Cooks River & Marrickville Council is not the only Council who leaves their stormwater drains nude like this allowing everything to enter the river unimpeded.  Why?  Doesn’t it make a mockery of every other attempt to clean the river when the basics are not covered?  I don’t understand this.

The wildlife deserve better.  They should not have to live in such conditions, especially when the pollution is so easily preventable.

We counted 45 Cormorants in Tempe harbour.

During the March 2012 floods a tree was caught on a sandbar off Tempe Reserve. The river is really shallow here, even at high tide, so I don’t think the tree was a hazard for the skiers or boats. Besides, the river is wide here so there is plenty of room either side.  The tree was City Central for the waterbirds as there are very few natural perches for them along the Cooks River.  Sometime in the last week the tree went & the birds now perch on the boats in Tempe harbour. Having once owned a boat I can say that very soon the boat owners will be complaining about the mess the birds leave behind. It would be great if the waterbirds could have natural places to sit & watch the river. I consider providing natural perches a vital part of improving biodiversity along the river.

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