EcoTreasures cleans up critical habitat for little penguins
EcoTreasures is helping to clean up critical penguin habitat in the Sydney Harbour catchment area by removing plastic from the beach. Since 2014 the Sydney-based tour company has incorporated voluntary marine debris clean-ups into their Manly Coastal Walks, helping keep plastic and other materials out of an environment that is important for threatened populations of little penguins.
EcoTreasures specialises in ecotourism experiences on Sydney's Northern Beaches and within Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, New South Wales. Fun and friendly guides share their knowledge of the local area to increase awareness and inspire visitors to help support conservation.
Among many locals and visitors to Sydney, EcoTreasures has hosted a range of international study tour students who have participated in beach clean-up initiatives. The students arrive in Australia for one to two-week stays which consist of English lessons and Australian tour experiences. EcoTreasures owner, Damien McClellan, has been happy to host the students on his tours and to incorporate a new element into the half-day adventure, aiming to clean up marine debris that accumulates in a natural environment that is prime habitat for little penguins.
Mr McClellan has been very proud to run these tours, which highlight a range of environmental awareness messages. "When we visit the little penguin habit at Collins Beach in Sydney Harbour National Park we conduct a beach clean-up. The students always put in 110% and we remove as much marine debris from the catchment as possible. We are all giving back to the location we are appreciating for its natural beauty, and I'm proud of all these international guests caring for Australia's environment."
The tours offer a great display of Sydney's natural setting right on the city's door step. Mr McClellan also adds, "The students and teachers really enjoy their experience on the walk around Manly. We visit the beach, Sydney Harbour National Park, Cabbage Tree Aquatic Reserve and Manly suburbs all in a half-day adventure. We always keep the walk fun and engaging by identifying native plants and searching for whales from land with binoculars, plus other wildlife along the way."
Founded in by McClellan in 2010, Advanced Ecotourism and Respecting Our Culture-certified EcoTreasures is looking forward to working with more partners in the future and developing new ecotourism initiatives for a range of target markets - and keeping it fun is part of the plan.