Surge of community spirit to clean our shores

In a tremendous display of community spirit about 50 cubic metres of rubbish was ridded from a range of local beaches in the Cooktown region on the morning of May 9th.

More than 100 volunteers from a wide range of organisations took to boats, motor vehicles and their feet to make a clean sweep of the coast from Cooktown’s North Shore south to Chetty Tree Bay, Finch Bay, Quarantine Bay, Walker Bay and Archer Point.

“This was a highly successful and extremely trouble free day that showed the people of this part of the world have a great deal of community spirit and care for our local environment.” said Ian McCullum from the event’s organising committee.

At Archer Point, a bottle and rubbish dump created by campers was to be removed this week with machinery needed to remove about 20 cubic metres of garbage.

“We must find some way of making it clear to visitors who wish to share our beaches and foreshore areas you are welcome – but take your rubbish away with you or dispose of it properly where facilities are provided.” said Mr McCullum.

He said the organising committee planned to make the beach clean-up an annual event, and that by raising public awareness there would be less rubbish to pick up in the future. The event also built on previous beach clean ups and locally led rubbish research projects in past years which have identified land areas further south as the culprits for the debris washed out to sea in flood time and blown straight back onto Cape York beaches by the ubiquitous south easterly trade winds.

Among the diverse range of Far North organisations to contribute a variety of resources and legwork for Sunday’s event were local government, indigenous and environmental groups, marine rescue and recreational groups and Cooktown businesses and individuals.

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