Marine debris

Overview of Urban System Repair Program Activities

Working to reduce marine debris through the installation of Gross Pollutant Traps
Cannonvale Beach Foreshore Reserve and its associated shallow marine waters with known areas of healthy seagrass ecosystems provide food and sanctuary for dugongs and marine turtle (MSES, Dugong Protection Zone, VMA essential habitat and NCA listed).

Dugong in Qld waters

Several urbanised creeks flow into this marine reserve depositing litter, sediment and other pollutants (e.g. phosphorous, nitrogen, hydrocarbons).

Flatback turtle in Qld

Green Sea Turtles and Flat Back Turtle known to nest along the MWI coastline

All threaten the integrity of this ecosystem and indirectly/directly impact dependent marine species. Three gross pollutant traps (litter traps) were installed within Bicentennial Park.

The sites at Bicentennial Park were selected based on upstream influence and records of high gross pollutant outfall. Each trap is designed to intercept marine debris and pollutants and prevent future deposition into the marine reserve. Whitsunday Regional Council has adopted the structures and associated maintenance requirements. Maintenance requirements, costs and trends will be reviewed annually, as will the effectiveness of the primary treatment tool and its subsequent future application to suitable sites within the other regions.


Reef out the rubbish!

NRM Reef Catchments and the Clean up at Carmila Beach

Community members joined representatives from Isaac Regional Council, GBRMPA, SCLMA (Sarina Landcare Catchment Management Authority), Mackay Turtle Watch and Reef Catchments to clean up Carmilla Beach

The Reef out the Rubbish event at Carmila Beach on Saturday, March 12, was very successful with numerous bags of rubbish being removed, not to mention a kitchen sink.

Volunteers enjoyed a bbq lunch and a coastal wildlife talk.

Involving the community in protecting our urban coastal environments
EcoBarge Clean Seas Inc has held 23 Clean Streets and Creeks events in Airlie Beach. The clean-ups target urban hot spots for gross pollutants (ie urban stormwater outlets draining into Pioneer Bay). The premise of this program is to increase community awareness and involvement in preventing land based litter from entering the marine environment. Key outcomes include:

  • removal of land based litter from urban coastal environments (and prevention of marine debris),
  • community engagement activities to raise awareness of the impacts of urban litter and stormwater on reef water quality
  • data collection on key locations and types of litter to assist in future decisions on the best interception infrastructure

NRM Reef Catchments and the Coastcare cleanup

Over 1500kg of debris was collected, sorted, analysed by 132 volunteers between Jan and June 2015.

Coastcare is an established program in the region coordinated by Reef Catchments and Mackay Regional Council. Over three Coastcare activities had been organised at Bucasia Beach under urban system repair. Events provide participants with the opportunity to learn practical skills in protecting and enhancing existing native vegetation and biodiversity through weed identification and removal, marine debris removal, interactive activities, games and competitions. In total 33 volunteers donated a total of 66 hours between Jan and June 2015. Coastcare is also funded through the National Landcare Program and includes additional activities.