LIzard Island Pre-Cyclone Ita Clean-up!

Earlier this month, Tangaroa Blue Foundation accomplished a 3-day clean up in Far North Queensland during 4th – 7th April with the help of 15 volunteers. Departing from Port Douglas on the charter boat “The Boss”, we headed North overnight for our first clean-up stop at Cape Bedford where we were met by the Hope Vale Congress Indigenous Rangers. At this site, we removed 257kgs of rubbish from just 200 metres! The most common items found on this remote beach were broken bits of hard plastic, 1595, lids and bottletops 587, pieces of polystyrene foam 280 and plastic drink bottles 257. We also removed derelict fishing nets and floats that were buried in the sand. After the clean-up, we shared a BBQ with the rangers where they shared some dreamtime stories, then said our goodbyes and set sail for Lizard Island.

The following day, after traveling overnight back down South, we split into two groups again to clean-up on two different islands in the Hope Isles National Park. It was amazing the difference to the marine debris load between the two islands, with the East Hope Island, which is very sandy island collecting only 293 items weighing 19kgs. The West Hope Island is a mangrove island, and here we collected over 325kgs and the most common item was different to all other clean-ups we had done over the three days with over 470 pieces of rope scrap, 204 plastic drink bottles and 174m of rope.

After lunch we headed back towards Port Douglas in lovely 30kt winds, arriving home just in time for dinner and the fun unloading process! And just a few days later Cycone Ita ripped through Lizard Island – we are hoping everyone up there has a speedy recovery!

All in all, we collected data from 5 different locations that accumulated to nearly a TONNE of rubbish! Well done team, awesome work and such a rewarding experience!

A big thank you goes to crew of “The Boss”, Todd from Malone’s Butchery who supplied us with delicious sausages and meat cuts, the James Cook University volunteer team that came up from Townsville, all our local volunteers that came along for the adventure, the Hope Vale Congress Aboriginal Rangers, the Lizard Island Social Club who conducted clean-ups at 5 additional beaches before we arrived, and the Douglas Shire Council for disposing of the debris.

This event was made possible with funding through the Queensland Government’s Friends of Parks Grant and the Gambling Community Benefit Fund.

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