Rubbish littering the region's beaches will be the main focus for Tangaroa Blue when the organisation gets the community together to clean up the coastline.
The citizen science organisation is hosting ReefClean's Great Barrier Reef Clean-Up on Saturday at Innes Park and again for the Milbi Festival at Elliott Heads on November 6.
The events work to keep the marine environment healthy and thriving and coordinates the Australian Marine Debris Initiative, an on-ground network of volunteers, communities, organisations and agencies monitoring the impacts of marine debris along their stretch of coastline.
“All litter collected goes into the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) Database so that we can see what the most common items are and try to address the issue at the source,” the organisation's Natalie Lobartolo said.
Natalie said the upcoming local clean up events were designed to get members of the community together to pick up as much rubbish as possible to prevent debris entering the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
“Group beach clean ups create a sense of community and collective action, which can be really empowering and inspiring in both education and helping to create positive change,” she said.
“Keeping our beaches clean is important for the health of the environment, the diverse array of marine animals that live there, and also our own health.”
Natalie said it was important for people to be responsible for their own litter as all sorts of rubbish was finding its way into the ocean.
“Food (mostly fast food, chocolate bar, snack and chip) wrappers, discarded fishing gear (hooks, lines and sinkers), aluminium cans, plastic bottles and bottle caps, and cigarette butts are among the most common items we find locally,” she said.
“The old reduce, reuse, recycle is important to remember.
“If we reduce our consumption and reliance on plastic packaged items in the first place, there will be a lot less that ends up in the natural environment – whether intentionally or unintentionally.”
Natalie is encouraging the community to get involved in the two upcoming beach clean up events to help the local natural environment thrive.
No prior experience is necessary.
Wear enclosed shoes, bring sun protection and your own refillable water bottle.
To register for the Innes Park event click here.
Register for the Elliott Heads Milbi Festival event here.
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