Three years to the day since its inception, Beach Patrol 3280 took out the Inspiring Community Engagement and Education honour in the Victorian Marine and Coastal Awards.
In a virtual ceremony on November 20, Warrnambool's Colleen Hughson accepted the award on behalf of the dedicated south-west group which regularly clean up the region's shorelines.
"The community has been amazing,"she said. "It's been a continued effort for three years since we first came across the plastic nurdles spill on November 20, 2017.
"There's always people on the beach and there's clean ups done everyday of the week.
"I think one thing with COVID, it's really brought to the front how much we depend and rely on our natural environment to maintain our health and well-being."
The inaugural awards highlight the importance of the community and partnerships in making sure the many values of Victoria's coastal and marine areas are safeguarded for the future.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning program officer Mandy Watson nominated Beach Patrol for the award.
"It's great to have a group in the south-west acknowledged. Being so far away from Melbourne, you have to make a bit more noise to be noticed," Ms Hughson said.
"We've made some real strategic plans to make sure plastic isn't escaping into the ocean.
"I think our movement will keep growing, plastic in the ocean is a huge problem and won't go away overnight.
"But I think we can all be really proud of what we've already achieved."
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