4WD Queensland volunteers held their annual Fraser Island (K’Gari) Clean Up in late May, marking 21 years since the event was first established. This year an astonishing 8.2 tonnes of debris was removed over the two days, which is 2 tonnes more than last year. These incredible results were achieved by 751 participants, who attended in 350 vehicles representing 23 affiliated 4WD clubs from all over southeast Queensland. The enthusiastic crew were faced with strong winds, heavy rain and foggy conditions as they spanned the coast from Hook Point to the Sandy Cape to remove marine debris.
The Fraser Island (K’Gari) Clean Up is organised by 4WD Queensland in conjunction with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and relies on the annual support of club members and event sponsors to ensure the ongoing removal of marine debris from this iconic World Heritage listed island. The Tangaroa Blue team appreciated the opportunity to attend and assist with data collection.
“K’Gari is such a special place and it is humbling to see the 4WD community come together and assist in keeping this culturally and environmentally significant treasure cleaner and safer for marine life” said Heidi Tait, CEO of the Tangaroa Blue Foundation.
During the 2022 clean up event, it was concerning to see countless large pieces of polystyrene across the island, a devastating result of the recent flooding events. Emergency services were also called in due to the uncovering of two dangerous silver canisters. The canisters can often contain toxic chemicals and need to be removed by the appropriate authorities. The immediate area was evacuated while the necessary precautions were taken to ensure the safety of participants. Tangaroa Blue staff members Ian and Jodie were also involved in the rescue of two green turtles. They are both trained to carry out these specialised rescues and were able to care for the turtles until they were able to be handed over to staff from Queensland National Parks.
Tangaroa Blue would like to acknowledge the Queensland Department of Environment, Ocean Conservancy and the Fraser Coast Regional Council for providing the funding opportunity for our team to attend this very important event.