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Waterways clean up restores the environment

Waterways clean-up Burnett Mary Regional Group BMRG
Gidarjil Sea Rangers filling-in the datasheet during the BMRG's waterways clean-up project.

The Burnett Mary Regional Group, community volunteers and partner organisations have so far removed more than two tonnes of debris from waterways in the Bundaberg, K'gari, Gympie and Fraser Coast regions.

The Queensland Government provided funding for the clean up in 2022 after Cyclone Seth.

Impacts from storm damage included interference with landowner operations, posing a risk to local habitats, wildlife, and livestock; and decreasing the aesthetic value of affected areas.

Partners in the project led by BMRG include Gidarjil Development Corporation, Gympie and District Landcare, Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation, Kabi Kabi Aboriginal Corporation, and the Department of Environment and Science.

BMRG project officer Victoria Clarke said the combined efforts had helped with restoration of the natural environment and enabled farmers to resume normal operations.

Victoria said litter that had been removed included plastic, cigarettes, needles, package materials and tyres.

“We’ve seen some wonderful work done so far with this project,” she said.

“The effort to remove marine debris after recent natural disasters has brought together organisations, volunteers and community members who want to do their part.”

Waterways clean-up Burnett Mary Regional Group BMRG
Beach and marine litter found during the waterways cleanup project.

Gidarjil Land and Sea Ranger project coordinator Des Purcell said a lot of marine debris ended up in heritage sites and became ingested by culturally significant species such as turtles and dugongs.

“This project is a good thing to do,” he said.

“It’s rewarding to get out on Country and help to protect some of these beautiful places within the natural environment.

“Litter doesn’t just affect the environment; it affects our communities and culture as well, and teaching this to our young people as future protectors of the environment is crucial.”

BMRG welcomes volunteers to support the project, which will continue until the middle of this year.

Interested people should contact Victoria by phoning 4181 2999. 

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