Marine Debris Hiking on Orpheus Island!

Tangaroa Blue Foundation tackled Orpheus Island this week with a total of 18 volunteers hiking an hour to the East side to clean up a remote, 300 metre long beach. This site has been periodically cleaned up by Orpheus Island Research Station volunteers in the past, however due to the 1 hour hike back to the station volunteers are unable to bring their debris collection back with them, thus starting two large designated debris dump piles that just grew every year.

We first took on the two large debris piles, and then did a sweep of the 300m long beach to collect any further debris that had washed up. In total, the team was able to sort through over 17,000 items with a final weight of 630 kilograms. Among the debris were 2300 plastic lids, 462 plastic drink bottles, 129 bleach bottles, 488 thongs, 109 cigarette lighters and 315 metres of rope.

Some really interesting pieces we found were remnants of an inflatable life boat, metal pieces of something (parts of a plane?) and a flare gun. Starting to wonder if we came across remnants of a plane or boat crash! Spooky.

Tangaroa Blue Foundation was able to execute this trip thanks to the Gambling Community Benefit Fund and support from Orpheus Island Research Station. Additional support was provided from Hinchinbrook Shire Council, Absolute North Charters, Terrain NRM and QLD Parks and Wildlife Services for waste services, barge for transporting waste and volunteer transfers to the island.

A massive thank you goes out to all the volunteers and to all of our supporters for making this clean-up possible!

Leslie Mallinson & Ben Reid

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