HomeCommunityOcean Crusaders sweep waterways to help save wildlife

Ocean Crusaders sweep waterways to help save wildlife

Ocean Crusaders
Ocean Crusader Ian Thomson in the mangroves collecting rubbish.

Community members are being urged to take part in a large-scale clean up this month to help protect local wildlife from the detrimental impact of rubbish.

Under a Bundaberg Regional Council contract, organisation Ocean Crusaders is making its way back to the region to start a five-day rubbish removal process along the Burnett River.

Managing Director Ian Thomson said everyone was invited to roll up their sleeves and get involved in the event, which would begin from Saturday 13 February to Wednesday 17 February.

Clean-up crews put in the hard yards

Ian said the huge clean up involved boats, a seven metre landing barge and multiple groups getting their hands dirty across a number of days.

“The crews will walk off the front of the boat and go and collect the rubbish in smaller bags and then bring it back to the big boat,” he said.

“There's no easy way to do this and it's definitely not the easiest work traversing over rocks and through the mangroves, but it needs to be done because we need to get this rubbish out from those locations.”

Ian said the team effort would help prevent local wildlife from becoming entangled in rubbish and debris.

“Our plastic habit happens to have a detrimental effect on our marine and bird life,” he said.

“While it is sitting out there, the plastics are smothering mangroves, fish are eating them and turtles are swallowing them.”

With turtle season now underway, Ian said the job needed to be done quicker than ever.

“We know with Mon Repos just around the corner, and it is turtle season, getting this stuff out now is of paramount importance,” he said.

“The nests are starting to hatch and we don't want those hatchlings dealing with plastic, we want them to be able to survive because they have a low enough survival rate as it is.”

Ocean Crusaders and volunteers
With the help of volunteers Ocean Crusaders removed eight tonnes of rubbish from the Burnett River during their visit in early October.

Ian said last year's clean up in the region resulted in 14.8 tonnes of rubbish collected in 12 days.

“We are hoping the recent rains haven't put a whole heap of rubbish back out there this year,” he said.

“We've been cleaning up a lot of flood debris in our last few visits but now we want to start focusing on the more every day rubbish that comes off streets.

“So we are going to be cleaning the rock wall out of the mouth and also the mangrove systems all along the Burnett River.”

If you would like to volunteer for the Ocean Crusaders clean-up, head to the website here to book your spot.

The clean up will be underway from Saturday, February 13 until Wednesday, 17 February.

community education Ocean Crusaders
Ocean Crusaders’ Mark Harvey said community education was vital to ensure not only the Bundaberg community, but all of Australia had an understanding of the effect of dumped items on the environment.

Related stories: Riverbank stabilisation work to ensure public safety



  1. No such organisation is required at Moore Park Beach, where many locals clean up the beach every day of the year during their daily beachwalks. Self-motivated. No organisation needed. Just kind people caring for their community. Unheralded. Unsung. And no-one looks for any recognition. It is a pleasure to observe such a clean beach. Thank you to everyone who does their bit!

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