Wonga Beach State School students, parents and friends joined with Tangaroa mainstays Heidi and Matt for a clean-up of the beach recently. In about two hours the students collected 33 bags of rubbish- weighing a total of 136kgs from two kilometres of what appeared to be a very clean beach.
Even though the beach itself appeared clean, the high tides and strong south easterly winds had deposited large amounts of litter above the high tide mark in the vegetation and mixed in with the natural flotsam and jetsam that wash out of the Daintree River.
Students swarmed over the piles of pumice, mangrove seeds and driftwood, enthusiastically bagging every piece of litter they could find. Most of the rubbish was plastic, washed up onto the beach after being dropped either directly into sea from boats or blown or washed into drains and creeks in the Douglas Shire and then flushed out into the ocean during the wet season.
More than 350 plastic and glass drink bottles, 333 bottle lids and caps and 618 broken bits of plastic made up the bulk of the individual items. A toilet brush was probably the most unusual piece, and unfortunately for the keen fishers only one lure was picked up.
Back at school the students, Heidi and Matt sorted the rubbish into recyclable and landfill piles and also categorised and recorded it for Tangaroa Blue’s database.
Two thirds of the rubbish was able to be sent off to be recycled and the rest went to landfill. Nearly all of the rubbish appeared to be litter originating from our own shire so the lesson for all of us is to look after our own patch of paradise and put our rubbish in the bin.
Article courtesy of the Mossman Port Douglas Gazette.
Thank you to the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation for supporting this event.