Regular monitoring is a key to understanding the trend of marine debris over time. One of our two monitoring sites in north QLD is Cape Kimberley, a 3 km beach that Tangaroa Blue have been cleaning quarterly for the last 5 years, usually collecting between 200 – 300 kg every time.
The clean-up in late January also marked our first event of the year and broke some records straight away: A whooping 34 volunteers turned up, many of them new to Tangaroa Blue. It was awesome to welcome so many first timers. Even more whooping (making this turn up even more astounding) was the heat: 30 degrees in the shade. It felt that for every kg of rubbish that the team recorded they had to down the contents of a drink bottle to stay upright. Hypothetically, this would equal 276 bottles emptied and refilled. Without the rangers from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) providing quad bikes to transport the full bags along the beach it would have been even more of a mission.
But inspite of these tropical circumstances most volunteers stayed until the end working hard whilst battling the heat, and we could finish this massive clean-up earlier than usual to head for the nearest creek to cool off. A big thank you to everyone for their great effort and to QPWS for the man and quadbike power!
For the next Cape Kimberley clean-up in April we will book in some cooler temperatures for sure.