We are excited to announce the publication of scientific paper that highlights the invaluable contributions of the citizen science community in monitoring marine debris across Queensland, Australia. The study sheds light on the major drivers of marine debris and provides a crucial baseline assessment of debris accumulation along the coast.
Coordinated by the Tangaroa Blue Foundation, the ReefClean monitoring network played a role in gathering high-resolution data, covering a stretch of 18 degrees of latitude, spanning approximately 1800 kilometres.
One key aspect that made this study possible was the training of surveyors in scientific methods. Equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge, these citizen scientists were able to collect accurate and reliable data on marine debris. Their involvement highlights the power and effectiveness of engaging local communities in scientific research, contributing to a deeper understanding of plastic pollution and marine debris.
The study also revealed that the type of beach, its orientation, and the distance along the beach have a significant influence on the amount of debris collected. These findings are essential for developing targeted management strategies to mitigate marine debris in specific areas.
We would like to extend our congratulations to the co-authors of this study: Heidi Tait, Graeme Clark, and Professor Emma Johnston.
If you are interested in delving deeper into the study, we invite you to check out the full paper here.
This study would not have been possible without the collaboration across the ReefClean network. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all the organisations and individuals involved, including the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council – NPARC Kuuku Ya’u Land Trust Rangers, QPWS Rangers, South Cape York Catchments Capricornia Catchments, North Wind Environmental Services, Whitsunday Catchment Landcare Inc., Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal, Reef Check Australia and Pioneer Catchment & Landcare Group Inc.