The popular Bunbury Storm Chasers project is being expanded further into the South West, thanks to a new partnership between Dunsborough based Geographe Marine Research (GMR) and the Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre.
The project was established in the Bunbury region by the Dolphin Discovery Centre, with teams of Storm Chaser volunteers collecting rubbish off beaches, photographing collections and recording data about the rubbish.
GMR Director Glenda Kirkby is leading the expansion of the project into the Busselton, Dunsborough, Eagle Bay and Yallingup areas.
“This isn’t just a rubbish collection. Analysing the rubbish to build a data base about it is very important in fighting pollution on our beaches in the future,” Ms Kirkby said.
“We are currently looking for volunteers join to Storm Chasers in these areas. We also welcome volunteers from Perth who spend time in the South West,” Ms Kirkby said.
“Storm Chasers has free litter collection kits for people that include information sheets, rubbish bags, and collection equipment,” she said.
Ms Kirkby said Naturaliste Charters whale watching also had come on board with the project, providing its customers with information about Storm Chasers, and distributing Storm Chaser kits from its office in Dunsborough.
“People can call into Naturaliste Charters in Dunn Bay Road in Dunsborough to find out more about the project, sign up and pick up Storm Chaser kits,” she said.
Information collected by Storm Chasers is uploaded to a National Marine Debris database that assists environment groups in reducing recurrent litter types and locations.
“Storm Chasers also watch for marine creatures in distress, particularly after storms,” Ms Kirkby said. “We have links with rescue teams, so if we get a report, we can help.”
Expanding Storm Chasers to the South West is the first major project undertaken by Glenda Kirkby, a well-known business woman in Perth who retired to the South West earlier this year.
She is a former Perth chair of the International Institute of Business Analysis and a recipient of the Australian Business Analyst of the Year.
Ms Kirkby has joined GMR’s Board of Directors.