Really?! Clean-up the Great Barrier Reef?! The largest World Heritage Site on the planet and over 2000km long? We don’t know who first came up with this idea and how the story began, but we know how it continued since Tangaroa Blue Foundation got asked to coordinate it!
Over the past week a team of 24 volunteers took on the task of cleaning marine debris from the iconic 5 Beaches loop at the tip of Cape York. The effort was organised by the Tangaroa Blue Foundation and included assistance from the Apudthama Land and Sea Rangers, Conversation Volunteers Australia, and some inspired tourists. This was the first coordinated effort to clean this 5km stretch of coastline which is significantly impacted by debris due to constant onshore winds and currents.
Six volunteers of ING DIRECT had their first experience of cleaning up their environment and were thrown into the deep end: Kincumber Creek in NSW had accumulated huge piles of dumped litter and debris from the oyster industry and residents alike – a pontoon, car tyres, plastic piping, household rubbish, an old TV – you name it. Thanks to the funding from Corporate Landcare, a big oyster barge for the day and the Gosford Council tip truck, the rubbish could get removed from the shore and taken to the tip a part of the Clean4Shore program!
As part of the recent Wanderlust festival, Tangaroa Blue partnered with the Sunshine Coast Council, Coolum and North Shore Coastcare, local Traditional Owners, festival participants and the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation to conduct a beach clean-up.
The activity aimed to not only raise awareness around the threat that marine debris poses to our coastal and marine ecosystems but to also empower people to help contribute to collecting data on the types of debris found.
After an initial planning visit to the site at the Twin Waters surf beach, Central Queensland based Tangaroa Blue Representative Shelly McArdle quickly realised that this site was special to the locals when she had to search for any sign of rubbish. Consequently after making enquiries on which groups might be active in the area she contacted Coolum and North Shore Coastcare who did not hesitate to offer to be part of the activity.
CaNSCC representative Edwin Hammet said “ North Shore residents play a big part in keeping the beach clean in addition to the dune revegetation work carried out by our members”.