This October, ReefClean launched the Great Barrier Reef Clean-up, where communities came together in a concerted effort to improve the health of the Great Barrier Reef and its surrounding waterways. This will be an annual ReefClean event which we hope will continue to grow each year.
Many participants chose to adopt a local site and host their own clean-up, where others in their community were free to join as volunteers. Other participants opted to join a flagship event hosted by Tangaroa Blue Foundation and other ReefClean partners. The flagship events were held in the Wet Tropics, Burdekin, Mackay Whitsundays, Fitzroy, Burnett Mary and Torres Strait regions.
At the 6 flagship events, 24,755 items of marine debris totaling 2,588kg was collected over the seven days, with 2,831 volunteer hours recorded.
|Natural Resource Management Region||Clean-up Location||Weight Removed|
|Torres Strait||Badu Island||226kg|
|Wet Tropics||Hinchinbrook Island||1520kg|
|Burnett Mary||Innes Park||26kg|
|Mackay Whitsunday||Mackay Town Beach||54kg|
Unusual items found included a wheelchair, oven, weather balloon radiosonde, 1990s computer monitor, CSIRO fridge door and scientific Integrated Marine Observing System oceanic reader.
Overall, there were 55 total Great Barrier Reef Clean-up events registered, translating to just under 75 kms of coastline cleared. Over 100,000 items of marine debris were removed over the month, totalling 9,337kg, with 7,449 volunteer hours recorded.
The ReefClean project aims firstly to reduce the volume of marine debris entering the Great Barrier Reef which may impact threatened species and ecosystems. Secondly, we aim to increase awareness in Reef catchment communities about the preventative actions they can take to reduce the amount of litter entering Reef waterways.
The data collected from this stunning Great Barrier Reef Clean-up effort will inform the source reduction workshops, community consultations, data analysis and events we take into 2020.
Our heartfelt thanks to all the local communities and partners who showed their love for the Reef during this campaign. One volunteer commented ‘This is such a great event to put on. It gets all the people involved in something so good and teaches our kids wonderful values!’
While the next Great Barrier Reef Clean-up events won’t launch until October 2020, we have plenty of regular ReefClean events you can take part in.
ReefClean is funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and delivered by Tangaroa Blue Foundation, Conservation Volunteers Australia, Reef Check Australia, Capricornia Catchments, Eco Barge Clean Seas, OceanWatch Australia, South Cape York Catchments and AUSMAP.