Teachers and students at Port Douglas Primary School in Far North Queensland are true coastal custodians of their local beach and the Great Barrier Reef. They are also accredited as a Reef Guardian School.
Part of being a Reef Guardian School means being proactive in protecting the local coastline and ocean. In June, all classes at the school participated in a Marine Debris Presentation at their school. The presentation explained to students what marine debris was and what impacts it has on our local marine life. On July 17th, 2009, 48 students and teachers joined Tangaroa Blue Foundation volunteers for a beach clean up at local 4 Mile Beach.
In just half an hour the students managed to fill three full clean up bags, with a total of 598 items and weighing over 22kg. The most common items where 221 cigarette butts, 126 glass drink bottles, 66 cardboard and paper, 37 lids and bottletops and 21 plastic bags.
At first the beach looked quite clean but once students started looking up in the high tide mark where the shrubbery starts, it was clear that some beach users had chosen to dispose of their rubbish by hiding it in the trees rather than putting it in a bin.
The students at Port Douglas Primary conduct beach clean ups during each school term and provide data on their findings to Tangaroa Blue to be included in our national database.
Thanks to the 2009 Natural Resources Grant from the Queensland Government that assisted with the funding for the event.