The Australian Government through its $140 million Reef Trust has provided $700,000 to clean-up marine debris across the Great Barrier Reef, protecting iconic species and helping to conserve the Reef’s outstanding universal value.
Marine debris can harm marine life, pose a navigational hazard and smother coral.
It can enter through waterways and drains and eventually make its way out into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Practical action to reduce marine debris is vital.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is coordinating the clean-up efforts and will work with community groups along the Queensland coast to conduct reef clean-up events throughout October 2015.
Waterways, beaches and the reef catchment will be cleared of litter to prevent wet season rains washing it in to the ocean.
The inaugural Great Barrier Reef Clean-up kicks off in Townsville on 17 October, with a further 10 clean-ups on 24–25 October in other coastal locations from Cape York to Bundaberg.
The clean-ups are part of a broader initiative funded through the Australian Government’s Reef Trust to minimise the source and occurrence of marine debris in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon.
The Tangaroa Blue Foundation, Eco Barge Clean Seas and the Reef Guardian Councils will be working with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to deliver this project.
Reef Trust funding also enabled a team of 24 Tangaroa Blue volunteers to clean up marine debris last week from the iconic and remote ‘Five Beaches Loop’ on the tip of Cape York.
The team removed 3.1 tonnes of rubbish, with help from the Apudthama Land and Sea Rangers, the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council and Conservation Volunteers.
The clean-ups in October are a great opportunity for the whole community to get involved and help tackle the problem.