Waterways: clean-up
Climate Region: Arid | Temperate | Tropical
State or Territory: ACT | NSW | NT | QLD | SA | TAS | VIC | WA
Age Range: 7-13


Amir was still thinking about his trip to Kakadu during the last school holidays. He had met Jimmy, a Bininj man and Indigenous guide who works on the boats in the park cruising the Yellow Water Billabong (or Ngurrungurrudjba to the locals) located at the end of Jim Jim Creek. The billabong is home to a vast range of bird, fish, amphibians and freshwater crocodiles. Amir could barely contain his excitement as he walked up and down the boat looking for crocs. The water was pristine, he could see fish swimming beneath the water’s surface. The locals and tourists showed great respect for the park, there was no rubbish to be found anywhere, not like at his local beach.

As Amir sat daydreaming on a rock platform at his local beach, he watched a plastic bottle bob up and down in the water. He found a long branch and managed to direct the bottle to the water’s edge where he grabbed it by hand and removed it from the water.


We all have the power to help keep our coastlines, rivers, lakes, swamps, creeks, floodplains, billabongs and estuaries clean by diverting rubbish from our waterways. This can be done with regular clean-ups, picking up litter when you see it, and changing our behaviour such as limiting our use of single-use plastic.

This learning activity is part of a sequence of 2 individual learning activities focused on cleaning up our waterways. The order of these learning activities are: clean-up and behaviour change.


For children to:
• understand our role as custodians of the land and waterways
• look at our behaviours and adopt a greater perspective
• appreciate that our actions can make a visible difference to the health of our waterways
• undertake a waterways rubbish audit and clean-up
• value water as a precious asset that sustains us.


Care needs to be taken when working around water at all times. When working near the beach, it is important to keep clear of rough surf, cliffs and unstable rocks. When collecting near flowing water, it is advisable not to work after heavy rainfall.

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Why not try one of our other Junior Landcare learning activities?

Caring for our coasts: beach survey

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Caring for our coasts: beach clean-up

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Exploring the story of water

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Creating compost

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