Saturday the 23rd of November has been declared a national day of action in the fight against Norweigian owned Equinor drilling in the Great Australian Bight.
In light of Australia’s NOPSEMA (National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environment Management Authority) advising Equinor to resubmit its environmental plans for the second time, kickstarting at 9am on Saturday is the Sea Shepherd Australia’s Marine Debris Campaign beach clean at Port Noarlunga.
Home to a magnificent stretch of beach alongside the Onkaparinga River mouth and playing host to the Port Noarlunga Reef Aquatic Reserve; Scuba Divers Federation of SA are inviting the public to participate in the underwater clean of the reef and jetty in a bid to remove the built up fishing debris hazardous to marine life.
Cleaning our beaches is pivotal to the survival of our marine environment. It’s estimated that every year 1,000,000 seabirds and 100,000 turtles together with marine mammals including dolphins, whales and seals are dying due to their increasing exposure to plastic pollution (there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic floating in our oceans today).
Every bottle, every bucket, every plastic bag is going a long long away in preventing that one large item from fragmenting up into potentially thousands of micro plastics bits that would otherwise pollute the ocean.
At 11am Sea Shepherd Australia, responsible for over 600 beached waterway clean-ups engaging over 25,000 volunteers, will hand over to the Fight for the Bight campaign. Everyone is invited to ink their part in history and paddle out to join the tens of thousands that will also gather at coastal locations this Saturday to notify the Norwegian Government owned Equinor that they do not have the social licence to drill in the Great Australian Bight.
Operating in Australia since 2012, Equinor is intending to drill 372km offshore and 2.2 kms beneath the surface of the Bight; home to the endangered Sea Lion and a nursery to Southern Right Whales. A potential oil spill similar to that of the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico would be catastrophic to Australia’s beloved coastline, with an estimated 1/3 of Australia’s total coastline at risk.
The paddle out at Port Noarlunga is one of 57 locations across the country including Victor Harbor, Port Willunga, Elliston, Kangaroo Island, Middleton, Port Lincoln, Port Sinclair and Streaky Bay in a united stand against the drilling in the Bight.
Equinor must respond and resubmit their environment plan for the proposed drilling before the 29th of November to NOPSEMA. But in the meantime head on down to Port Noarlunga and pledge your allegiance against at the Equinor and help preserve one of the most pristine ocean environments left on Earth.
Sea Shepherd Australia’s Marine Debris Campaign beach is located at Port Noarlunga adjoining the mouth of the Onkaparinga River.