The Alva Beach Clean Up weekend was a huge success, with over 570kgs collected and removed from more than 6 kilometres of Alva Beach! We had great partners over the weekend that made it all happen. The Gudjuda Reference Group started us off on Friday by bringing in a bus full of local school students who were very eager to help clean-up the beach and quad bikes to help transport the rubbish back to the base camp where the weighing and sorting took place. Gudjuda Reference Group also provided a group of Rangers on Saturday for our Community Day and delivered a Welcome to Country talk for the rest of the volunteers.
Other partners that joined us on Saturday were Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Burdekin Shire Council, Lower Burdekin Landcare Association, Yongala Dive and Conservation Volunteers Australia and Alva Beach locals. Thanks to Yongala Dive’s 4WD vehicle, and Gudjuda Reference group using their quad bikes, we were able to target further distance from our base camp, covering a larger area of beach. The further out we travelled, we began to see larger items, for example, an old air-conditioner unit, a large metal fan, and multiple pieces of car wreckage. We also found bleach bottles from Papua New Guinea and drink bottles from SE Asia.
On Sunday we had a group of 11 volunteers, including locals to finish up the last section we wanted to target. In this section, we found 4 discarded fishing crab pots and one of them was quite stuck in the mud. We also found quite a few aluminium cans and glass drinking bottles, indicating that the area is heavily polluted by beach goers. Another concerning issue that we discovered was that Alva beach is riddled with micro-plastics layers deep.
Although this weekend was a massive success, there is certainly more that can be done. Tangaroa Blue Foundation will work with The Burdekin Shire Council on Source Reduction Plans and ideas to help promote awareness in the community, and to try and encourage the “Take 3 for the Sea” mindset for the locals when they visit the beach.
We are very happy with the effort over the weekend given by all of our awesome volunteers and partners and very thankful to NQ Dry Tropics who funded the project and helped make it all possible. Looking forward to being able to visit Alva Beach sometime again in the future!