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World First Stand Up Paddle Around Sydney Basin to Help Protect Marine Environments

Stuart Murray (50), 9 x New Zealand and Australian Stand Up Paddle Champion and marine conservationist today completed a world first, by stand up paddling around the entire Sydney Basin.

On March 2ND, Stuart left Narrabeen Lake and headed north towards Dangar Island, where he turned up to Wiseman Ferry, Sackville, Windsor and Penrith. There he had a 50km, 2 day portage where he towed his paddle board on wheels and walked to Liverpool where he rejoined the water at George’s River. From there it was down to Oately, Maroubra, Bondi, Manly, Dee Why, and finally, he reached Narrabeen Lake this morning where he joined the Jamieson Park Paddle team where he also won the Naish Nisco race!

With the help of local community’s, SUP clubs, schools and supporters, Stuart’s not only showed what a world-class athlete he is, but was also raising awareness on the marine debris issue in both Australia’s rivers and oceans. During the 2 week paddle Stuart collected data for the Australian Marine Debris Initiative on where marine debris and pollution hotspots were along the river systems, and completed clean up events with local communities and schools.

The Australian Marine Debris Initiative is a program coordinated by Tangaroa Blue Foundation, not only focusing on the removal of pollution in our rivers and oceans, but also on the collection of data and creation of Source Reduction Plans which stop pollution at the source, before it ever has a chance to enter the environment.

When I took on supporting Tangaroa Blue I had no idea just how extreme the problem nor how much personal development I would do” Stuart Murray said after arriving in Narrabeen this morning.

“One thing that hit me was we are putting more marine debris into the ocean than we are cleaning up. We know what that maths means”

Plastic does not bio-degrade it photo-degrades. That means it does not disintegrate, it just breaks down into smaller plastic nodules. The debris on the surface is easy to clean up if we are motivated. These plastic smaller plastic nodules however float up to 1 or 2 km below the surface making them very hard to clean up. They also change in composition and become absorbent. They are very good at absorbing toxins like petro-chemical spills and become plastic toxic pills that fish eat and thus end up in our own food chain. Classic environmental Karma.”

“Collecting data and contributing to Tangaroa Blue Foundation and the Australian Marine Debris Initiative is the best way to encourage change at the top. We need leaders to look at this issue now. I have noticed parts of Sydney that have turned their back on the water at their door step.

I saw plastic piling up in parks adjoining rivers and spilling through the storm water into the rivers and creeks. I observed syringes with needles and computer monitors floating by. I rescued turtles from sewerage overflow. We need to change the system at the top, to be leaders in government, industry and community.”

Thank you to Zhik high performance paddling wear and the entire SupExplore Team and Partners for making this possible.

– ENDS –

For media enquiries, interview and pictorial opportunities please contact:

Stuart Murray Ph: 0431 231 542 Email: info@supexplore.com

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