More than 500 volunteers from across Queensland took part in the Great Barrier Reef Clean-up during October, collecting almost 4,000 kilograms of debris.
Over two weekends and 12 sites from Cape York to Bundaberg, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority worked in partnership with the Australian Marine Debris Initiative, Tangaroa Blue Foundation, Eco Barge Clean Seas Inc. and Reef Guardian Councils to run a series of local clean-ups aimed at reducing debris in the Reef lagoon.
With support through Australian Government’s Reef Trust, the Great Barrier Reef Clean-up collected almost 300 bags of rubbish from beaches, parks and waterways feeding into the Reef catchment.
The most frequent items collected were plastic lids, plastic bottles, aluminium cans, cigarette butts, broken glass and balloons.
The rubbish and litter collected over the weekends no longer poses a risk to marine life, won’t smother coral and it won’t become a navigational hazard. The clean-up has also raised awareness and reminded people not to let their litter bug our Reef.
I’d like to thank everyone involved for helping make the first Great Barrier Reef Clean-up such a success.
Tangaroa Blue Foundation Coordinator Heidi Taylor said data collected from the clean-ups would now be analysed and entered into the Australian Marine Debris database.
“With this information we can help create a comprehensive overview of the quantity and types of marine debris found along the Australian coastline and start to identify trends over time,” Heidi said.
“It enables us to identify hot spots along the Great Barrier Reef as well as type and origin of the rubbish collected to help create source reduction plans with the local community and government, thus working towards preventing the litter from ending up in the ocean in the first place.”
For more information about the Great Barrier Reef Clean-up visit www.gbrmpa.gov.au
Photos are available online: www.facebook.com/GreatBarrierReefMarinePark