International Year of the Reef Festival Clean Up

October 25th saw the first official clean up event for Tangaroa Blue Foundation in the Far North Queensland town of Port Douglas. The event was to coincide with the International Year of the Reef Festival which showcased and celebrated the famous Great Barrier Reef and looked at ways that visitors and locals could help to protect it.

Qamar Schuyler, who was part of the organising committee of the festival explained that “the festival goals are not only to raise awareness of the value of the Great Barrier Reef to our community and the environmental threats that it’s facing, but also to inspire broad-scale changes in attitude and behaviour to protect and conserve our resource. In short, we aim to make a real difference.”

The clean up event was held on Saturday morning at 5 sites along 4 Mile Beach, the Marina Mirage and the Port Douglas Yacht Club. Close to 40 volunteers helped out during the morning before heading down to the community centre for a sausage sizzle and a chance to compare notes of what was found by other volunteers.

A list of some of the items found:





Plastic Bags 66 Balloons 7
Plastic Bottles 98 Glass Bottles 185
Aluminimum Cans 125 Lids, bottletops 266
Shoes 26 Polystyrene Foam 119
Paper, cardboard 87 Small pieces of plastic 808
Fishing line 40m Condoms 3
Cigarette Butts 928 Cigarette Lighters 9

A total of 3359 individual pieces of rubbish was collected by the volunteers in just 2 hours from approximately 6km of Port Douglas coastline. The debris weighed more than 145kg and filled over 17 bags.

Thanks to Keep Australia Beautiful Council QLD for their assistance, also Project Aware, EPA, GBRMPA, Ansell and all the volunteers who helped collect the rubbish from the local ocean environment helping to protect the Great Barrier Reef and our local coastal environment.

The IYOR Festival also launched our monthly monitoring project where we invite volunteers to adopt a section of their local beach and every month collect rubbish and data on what they are finding.

This data is being collated to give a true picture of what type of debris is finding it’s way on Far North QLD beaches and then ways of reducing this debris will be looked at. Anyone interested in signing up for the project please contact us for more information.

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