The Snapper Island Clean Up, was another success in 2011. On the 25th of September, 35 volunteers gathered at the Port Douglas Coast Guard and split into groups, to travel to the island by boat and bus for a clean up which managed to cover over 90% of the island’s coastline.
Together we gathered over 235 kg of marine debris, finding items from bottle lids and plastic drink bottles to parts of boats and ropes. Surprisingly we gathered only half of what has been collected in previous years, showing that our efforts are making a difference.
The most common items were 1108 bits of polystyrene foam (including pieces from the Bureau of Meteorology’s weather balloons that are released from Cairns), 482 bits of hard plastic, 279 plastic drink bottles, 219 broken glass, 177 lids, 128m of rope and 115 thongs! The most unusual items found this year were a car battery, a gas bottle and 2 chocolate flavoured condoms! We were also disappointed to see that campers had put all their rubbish into a black garbage bag and just thrown it into the vegetation instead of taking it off the island with them! The total number of items removed this year was 3185!
Once again Mother Nature was kind by giving us some great weather with calm seas and also throwing in a few added surprises by the end of the day, with dolphins swimming in close to the shore to feed and a strange pink algae bloom which created some really stunning images.
A big thanks to all those involved, especially the Port Douglas Coast Guard and skippers, who gave their time and boats to ferry us to and from the island. All in all, 2011 was a huge success and we look forward to visiting the island again in 2012.