Introduction

Ranger Inger Perkins represented the Department of Conservation at the Driftwood and Sand prizegiving on 27 January saying “being right here on the beautiful Hokitika beach provides an opportunity for us to think about our marine environment, and link to Seaweek."

Date:  28 January 2013

Litter Flotilla by Lindy Roberts
Litter Flotilla by Lindy Roberts

Ranger Inger Perkins represented the Department of Conservation at the Driftwood & Sand prizegiving on Sunday (27 January) saying “being right here on the beautiful Hokitika beach provides an opportunity for us to think about our marine environment, and link to Seaweek. The theme of Seaweek this year is ‘Healthy Seas, Healthy People’. In other words, if we look after the oceans, they will continue to provide for us.

DOC presented two prizes known as the 'One Ocean' prizes for an adult and junior sculpture. Inger added "when judging the sculptures for DOC's One Ocean prize, I'm looking for a piece that helps convey a message of marine conservation and sustainability."

The adult prize went to Lindy Roberts for her creation entitled Litter Flotilla. Local artist Lindy had created a number of small boats ready to set sail from a harbour, each with a sail made from plastic found on the beach. The plastic included shopping bags, rubbish bags, baleage wrap, fertiliser bags etc., and her message was that there was no way of knowing where such plastic could end up. It was a striking creation and conveyed DOC's message to look after our oceans with style. Lindy won a beautiful Andris Apse book of Westland images and a year's subscription to New Zealand Geographic magazine.

Turtle with plastic, rescued by a staff member from Melbourne Zoo. Photo: www.elrst.com.
Turtle and remnants of a plastic bag

Most marine plastic pollution ends up in the ocean by being washed or blown off the land. Plastic bags, baleage wrap, lighters, bottles and much more find their way into the sea creating a hazard for marine life including birds, dolphins, whales and turtles.

The Turtle by Marni Diedrichs.
The Turtle by Marni Diedrichs

One particularly sad image often used to share this message is that of a turtle struggling with a plastic bag. Two children had created turtle sculptures on the beach so it seemed appropriate to select one of those for the junior prize. Marni Diedrichs’ turtle was chosen and she won a set of ‘Russian doll’ native birds and a year’s subscription to the Kiwi Conservation Club, Forest & Bird’s junior section, for her beautiful turtle.

"There are small, easy steps we can all take locally to protect our oceans for future generations. It may be as simple as not using supermarket plastic bags. No matter how careful we are, they can end up blowing around the streets and off landfill sites, ending up in the oceans, often with fatal consequences for marine life. If we all take responsibility for our waste, we can prevent needless deaths of turtles, seabirds and marine mammals."


Related links

Contact

Inger Perkins
Community Relations Ranger
Department of Conservation
Phone: +64 3 756 9148

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