Gee it’s was good to be back… but so many plastic bottles and foam floats!

After cancellation in 2020 due to COVID everyone was looking forward to the 2021 Mapoon trip going ahead with much anticipation. This did not proceed as expected, however, as only days before the team were set to leave, Townsville and Brisbane went into lockdown. This resulted in several of our volunteers and our Townsville coordinator, Kara-Mae, having to withdraw. Fortunately Jules stepped up and slotted into the co-coordinator spot at extremely short notice, and with the a-ok from the Mapoon community that we could head north, we were on our merry way!

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AMDI and ReefClean Data Included in Healthy Water Regional Report Cards

Healthy Water Regional Report Cards outline the condition of freshwater, estuarine, inshore and offshore marine ecosystems in their region, and report regionally on social, cultural and economic health and stewardship. For the first time ever, data from the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) Database and the ReefClean program has been included in the annual Regional Report Cards and we’re super excited to see the results!

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Ditch the Flick Kicking Butt at Queensland Country Bank Stadium

A campaign to drive behavioural change among smokers has kicked butt at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, with a decrease in cigarette litter of 71%.

The five game ‘Ditch the Flick’ trial aimed to reduce the amount of cigarette butt litter created around the stadium during events to avoid it ending up in the adjacent Ross River, which runs into the Great Barrier Reef. 

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2020 ReefClean Report: Challenging COVID to Deliver Reef-wide Success

The 2020 ReefClean Report showcases what is possible with strong partners, adaptive management and creativity! We were thrilled that all ReefClean deliverables were met even with the challenges that 2020 presented.

In 2020, 15.5 tonnes of marine debris was removed from the environment across all Great Barrier Reef Natural Resource Management regions from the Torres Strait to the Burnett Mary.

Not surprisingly, the total number of volunteers involved in clean-up events decreased by approximately 19% from 2,200 volunteers in 2019 to 1,873 in 2020 due to the extended period when no, or very few volunteers were able to participate due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The total number of self-managed clean-up events increased from 38 events in 2019 to 47 events in 2020. This may indicate that people opted to run smaller activities, avoiding large, crowded events.

We would like to acknowledge all ReefClean partners and volunteers for another successful year. We look forward to continuing to build on the marine debris removal and prevention work in the coming third year of the ReefClean project.

ReefClean is funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and delivered by Tangaroa Blue Foundation in partnership with Conservation Volunteers Australia, AUSMAP, Capricornia Catchments, Eco Barge Clean Seas, OceanWatch Australia, Reef Check Australia, and South Cape York Catchments.

To view the full 2020 ReefClean Report, click here. To view the accompanying AUSMAP microplastics report, click here.

Youth-Led Mangrove Conservation in the Great Barrier Reef

Over the 2021 Easter break, Year 11 and 12 Mackay Christian College Youth Ambassadors set out on the SV Whitehaven vessel to explore Goldsmith Island, focusing on mangrove ecosystems in connection to their environmental interests and studies. They were joined by Wildmob/Silkwood School Youth Ambassador alumni, who assisted as mentors on this conservation project.

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