Having spent the first 30 years of his life living across the road from The Reef, Kalk Bay and The Reef are very close to the heart of Stephen Cruickshank. “The Reef was my front playground,” says Stephen, who’s made it his mission to keep it clean. Since he’s shown an interest in keeping his local spick and span, hundreds of other community members have joined his efforts.
The following is Stephen’s entry into our Tuffy Beach Clean-Up Competition.
“Over the past few years I noticed more and more trash collecting on the inside of The Reef in the shallows we called The Gully when we were lighties. The currents and wave action creates a natural collecting zone for the plastic and other trash. This area is very easily accessible on the spring low tides and makes for a lazy man’s clean up as the trash is contained in such a small area.
“I started going down on my own every so often to pick up and posted some pics to Facebook. Other locals enjoyed the idea and asked me to keep them informed so they could join. From this I started the Facebook group called Keeping our Beaches Special (KOBS). This has attracted a few hundred users and led me to connecting with other interested people such as Katja Rockstroh from the Two Oceans Aquarium. Katja has posted how plastic in our oceans harms sea life and in particularly turtles which she helps rehabilitate at the aquarium.”
“This has also led to The Brass Bell tasking some of their cleaning staff to regularly clean The Little Beach between The Bell and the harbour. This I reckon is helping reduce the amount of trash finding it’s way to the inside of The Reef.
“As can be seen in the recent pics even in winter it can be a stunning day down there and there is always some trash, and maybe a fin or go pro, to collect. We have at times collected up to 10 bags of the stuff in just an hour or two. Thanks to Tuffy who have already donated some of their clear bags for us to use to collect.”