The GBR clean up on 25 October at Town Beach, Iluka Park resulted in a haul of 145 kg of rubbish which, oddly enough, included a huge number of ear plugs and ear plug wrappers. Irregular finds included two laptops, a camera, and an injured wader bird which was taken to the vet and sent to a wildlife carer.
Volunteers worked tirelessly at the site and covered 1.3 km of beach in an effort to remove and collect items which, if left unattended, could harm marine life, pose a navigational hazard, and smother coral. Following their hard work they enjoyed a barbeque provided by Mackay Lions.
Turtles and dugongs can become entangled in marine debris like nets, or ingest marine debris such as small plastic pieces and bags when they mistake them for food. Plastic can also absorb other potentially toxic chemicals. Debris can enter through natural and main made waterways like drains and eventually make its way out to sea and into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
The (Mackay) Great Barrier Reef Clean-up event was delivered by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority with funding through Reef Trust and in partnership with Mackay Regional Council, Conservation Volunteers Australia, Reef Catchments and the Tangaroa Blue Foundation. Tangaroa Blue established the Marine Debris initiative.
Did you know that the Great Barrier Reef was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1981 and on May 21 2007 it was included on the National Heritage List as one of 15 Australian World Heritage places?