On Saturday March 1, 2014, 26 volunteers from UQ’s UniDive, Wild Mob, Clean Oceans Australia, Stradbroke Island VMR, Sibelco, Wildcare Straddie and Reef Check Australia joined together to collect and sort 30kg of rubbish from the foreshore and underwater areas around Amity Point, North Stradbroke Island.
“Together we were able to remove 30 kilograms of rubbish from the area both above and below the waterline. This included hundreds of pieces of rubbish, an estimated 7 kilometres of fishing line and more than a thousand cigarette butts. If anyone misplaced a plastic pirate eye patch, we found it!”, said clean-up coordinator Blair Jedras.
Groups have been working on regular clean-up at this well-loved location since Clean Up Australia Day 2012, with more than 650kg of rubbish collected over this timeframe. Clean-up findings are carefully documented through the Australian Marine Debris Initiative database coordinated by Tangaroa Blue Foundation. The collaborative clean up events help project partners understand how the debris travels between land and sea.
“We know that marine debris is a major hazard for Moreton Bay’s marine life. Turtles and other wildlife get tangled in fishing line or choke on plastic, which they mistake for food, and so we hope this week’s effort will go some way to preventing these unwanted deaths,” says Wild Mob Project Leader Phil Hrstich.
The clean-up efforts won’t stop there. The long-term data will also be put to good use by the newly formed Clean Straddie Working Group. This collaborative group of industry partners, community groups and passionate volunteers plans to address litter and pollution issues on North Stradbroke Island by working collaboratively to develop and implement source reduction plans.
Clean Straddie Working Group coordinator, Jennifer Loder from Reef Check Australia says, “All of the groups involved in this initiative have a common goal to actively reduce litter on North Stradbroke Island and create a healthy environment for everyone to enjoy. The invitation is open to other individuals and groups who want to get involved!”
FIND OUT MORE: To compliment the clean up efforts, there will be a community screening of the documentary called “Bag It, is your life too plastic?” at the NSI Historical Museum in Dunwich on Friday, March 7 at 7pm. “Bag It” is a fun and educational movie about our plastic addiction and the risks it causes to both the environment and the human health. Join friends and neighbours for a glass of wine and some nibbles before the projection.
For additional information and high resolution images, contact:
Jennifer Loder, email@example.com, 0402 284 681
Manta Lodge and Scuba Centre, Point Lookout Scuba Charters, Sibelco Australia, Stockland Cleveland,
Stradbroke Ferries & Volunteer Marine Rescue Stradbroke Island.
To find out more, visit www.reefcheckaustralia.org.