Beach art waste environment

Little Nippers create little litter at Half Moon Bay.

Project information

  • Name: Beach Art Waste Environment Program (BAWE)
  • Lead: Half Moon Bay
  • Location: Half Moon Bay, Black Rock, Port Phillip Bay
  • Themes: marine debris; beach litter; lifesaving clubs; plastics and ocean pollution

Half Moon Bay is the kind of place that warm summer memories are made from. You can eat fish and chips while the sun puts on one last glorious display as it slips below the horizon. You can hear the delighted screams and shouts of children as they splash in the waves and watch fishers angle for a bite at the end of the pier.

Get up for sunrise, and you might see boats launching off from the ramp and little Nippers earning their stripes at the Half Moon Bay Surf Life Saving Club; the oldest club in Victoria founded in 1910.

It’s also the kind of place that attracts litter.

“We can have 1,500 visitors a day in summer,” said Lucy Allinson, Project Manager at Half Moon Bay Life Saving and Swimming Club. “We’re seeing increasing amounts of litter such as bottles, small plastics, plastic bags, fishing waste and paper waste, particularly cups.

“We can already see the negative impact of litter on our beach and the marine environment across Port Phillip. We really need to act now to turn this around.

“We know how much people enjoy this beautiful spot. We wanted them to see the impact of litter so that they would feel compelled to act so they can continue to enjoy this spot for years to come.”

Children on the beach with a scuplure they made out of found rubbish

Lifesavers save marine life

“We delivered an educational program through the lifesaving club. We wanted to create something fun that would be easy to do and reinforce positive behaviour.”

“We had 80 children sign up for our course, aged from 5 to 12 years. Just over two-thirds were already members of the lifesaving club and the remaining third were locals but had no previous connection with the lifesaving.

The children really enjoyed creating artwork out of litter found on the beach. One unintended positive consequence of this was gaining a better understanding of the types of litter on the beach.

I loved going on the beach and doing the art. I found it very calming after my soccer. I would do it again.

– Daisy Ward, age 10

Litter picks

Beachpatrol and Marine Care Ricketts Point already clean up beaches around Ricketts Point and Black Rock once a month.

“We encouraged volunteers to come and join them. We had more people than anticipated which was great because this direct contact generated more interest in the project and helped develop that all-important sense of local pride.

“At first glance, the beach looked relatively tidy, but our 32 volunteers still managed to collect 40 kilos of rubbish in just one hour!

“Sometimes it’s hard to reach people and get them involved but thankfully, we found the reverse. We had lots of interest in our project thanks to advertising widely through existing surf club members, billboards, local media and content on the Half Moon Bay website.

“Another unexpected outcome was that the lifesaving patrols also started to pick up litter during their patrol duties.”

What’s next

A dolphin sculpted in sand at the beach“Parents and lifesavers really enjoyed the project and are keen to repeat it again. We hope this project can be scaled across other lifesaving clubs in Port Phillip Bay and beyond. We already presented our results to other clubs at Life Saving Victoria in March 2018.

“We shared our results through the local paper, an exhibition at a local library, posters at Half Moon Bay and some online channels to target locals.

“Bayside City Council will add a drinking fountain to Half Moon Bay to reduce bottle and drinking cup waste. This sends a message that the council sees the importance of reducing litter to protect our bay and keep it healthy now and for future generations.”

More information 

Contact Lucy Allinson, Project Manager at Half Moon Bay Life Saving and Swimming Club Inc. on 04 2379 5215 or email