Great Barrier Reef lovers are invited to do their part for this fragile environment throughout October by joining ReefClean’s Great Barrier Reef Clean-up.
As part of the annual initiative, Reef Check Australia with support from Bundaberg Regional Council will hold a community beach clean-up at Elliott Heads beach on Saturday 7 October.
Community members keen to take part can join the clean-up from 9 am for essential safety information before the beach cleaning commences at 9:30 am.
The coastline between Burnett Heads and Elliott Heads contains the most southerly fringing coral reefs on the Eastern Australian mainland and is home to a wide variety of marine life.
Now in its fifth year, the annual ReefClean Great Barrier Reef Clean-up is one of the biggest events of its kind, mobilising communities around the reef to clean-up hundreds of kilometres of coastline from Bundaberg to the Torres Strait.
Tangaroa Blue Foundation CEO Heidi Tait said over the last five years, volunteers and partners participating in ReefClean events have removed a staggering 97.5 tonnes of rubbish from along the Great Barrier Reef.
“We are keen to see this total kick over the 100 tonnes this year,” Heidi said.
“Whether you are a citizen scientist, a business, a government organisation or just an ocean lover, you are invited to adopt a local site and register online for free.
“This is a great opportunity for those who know of a local site that needs attention, to take on a leadership role and kick off a clean-up.”
ReefClean’s Great Barrier Reef Clean-up events are free to attend, and participants are provided with all the gear and information they need to help make a difference on the day.
During the clean-up, community participants collect rubbish from the beach and bring it to a designated processing station for the data to be uploaded to the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) database.
The AMDI database is used by scientists across Australia to gain a better understanding of the impact marine debris has on the natural environment.
The clean-up call comes as the AMDI database shows disposable plastic items are among the top 10 items of litter impacting the Great Barrier Reef and surrounding waterways.
“Stewardship of the environment on a local, community level is vital to turning the tide on marine debris around the Great Barrier Reef,” Heidi said.
“By pulling together as a community and recording the type of marine debris that continues to impact the Reef, we’ll get the data we need to work with industry and government to solve this problem once and for all.”
Elliott Heads Beach Clean-Up
What: Great Barrier Reef Clean-Up
When: Saturday 7 October, 9 am to 11.30 am
Where: Elliott Heads Beach Park, Lihs Street Elliott Heads
All the community is invited to attend and can participate in the clean-up activities for as long or short a time as they wish.
ReefClean is funded by the Australian Governments Reef Trust and is delivered by Tangaroa Blue Foundation, AUSMAP, Capricornia Catchments, Eco Barge Clean Seas, OceanWatch Australia, Reef Check Australia and South Cape York Catchments.