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Queensland

Rainbow Beach & Fraser Island Clean Up May 2009

200905 Fraser IslandThe impacts of marine debris on the Australian marine environment are well documented, with over 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine animals being killed every year by floating plastics, and over 18,000 pieces of plastic being found in every square kilometre of ocean our marine environment resembles a rubbish tip!

Local volunteer Jennifer Parkhurst has joined forces with Tangaroa Blue Foundation and the Rainbow Beach Primary School to address marine debris on Fraser Island and Rainbow Beach with funding assistance through a 2009 Queensland Government Natural Resources Awareness Grant. The grant focused on marine debris on and around two Queensland Heritage Listed Islands: Low Isles off the coast of Port Douglas in Far North Queensland and Fraser Island.

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Low Isles, Woody Island and Snapper Island Clean Up

20090517 WoodyAs part of the Far North Queensland Marine Debris Project an Island Clean Up was held on May 17th, 2009 on three islands: Heritage Listed Low Isles, Woody Island and Snapper Island all located in Queensland just off Port Douglas. 28 volunteers went to Low Isles and Woody Island and 16 volunteers went to Snapper Island for the clean up which was organised by Tangaroa Blue Foundation and The Low Isles Preservation Society. Funding for the event was provided by the QLD Government through a Natural Resource Awareness Grant.

The volunteers that went out to Snapper Island brought back over 25 bags full of rubbish and some larger items including 2 tyres that wouldn't fit in bags. About 2/3 of the island was cleaned up. The most obscure items included a sharps container full of syringes, a motorcycle helmet, pool noodles and a toilet seat. Also collected from Snapper Island were 267 plastic drink bottles, 56 aluminium cans, 40 shoes and 354 pieces of polystyrene foam. The total number of items collected from Snapper Island was 1252 items, weighing 136kg. Photo right: Cassie Senner, Alan Crabtree and Deb Eastop with a boat load of debris on Snapper Island.

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Conservation Volunteers Australia Clean Up Cooktown

200905 CVA CooktownThe beaches in Far North Queensland are being targeted for practical care through a combined project by Conservation Volunteers Australia, Tangaroa Blue Foundation, the Cape York Marine Advisory Group and the local Cooktown school.

On the 2nd December volunteers joined to help create a better earth by helping out at a marine debris clean up at Archer Point, just south of Cooktown.

The clean up took about 3 hours to complete and volunteers collected over 1015 items of rubbish weighing approximately 99 kilograms from just 200 metres of beach!

A survey of the marine debris was conducted compiling the following totals.

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International Year of the Reef Festival Clean Up

2007 IYOROctober 25th saw the first official clean up event for Tangaroa Blue Foundation in the Far North Queensland town of Port Douglas. The event was to coincide with the International Year of the Reef Festival which showcased and celebrated the famous Great Barrier Reef and looked at ways that visitors and locals could help to protect it.

Qamar Schuyler, who was part of the organising committee of the festival explained that "the festival goals are not only to raise awareness of the value of the Great Barrier Reef to our community and the environmental threats that it's facing, but also to inspire broad-scale changes in attitude and behaviour to protect and conserve our resource. In short, we aim to make a real difference."

The clean up event was held on Saturday morning at 5 sites along 4 Mile Beach, the Marina Mirage and the Port Douglas Yacht Club. Close to 40 volunteers helped out during the morning before heading down to the community centre for a sausage sizzle and a chance to compare notes of what was found by other volunteers.

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One Person's Campaign to Clean Up Tons of Rubbish Washed Up on Fraser Island

2007 J ParkhurstBy Jennifer Parkhurst

While on Fraser Island I divide my time between observing/photographing the dingoes, and picking rubbish up from the beaches. Both pursuits are my passions.

I have lived at Rainbow Beach for nearly 7 years and visit Fraser Island daily to observe and photograph the dingoes. In the early days while visiting the Island, I noticed that there was a huge amount of rubbish on the beach, especially in the many creeks on the eastern side of the island.

The rubbish was literally choking these creeks which should have been pristine, especially in a World Heritage Area.

Day after day I drove past the same pieces of rubbish. Eventually, sick of seeing it, I took it apon myself to clean the beach, and have been doing so nearly every day since. It has been an interesting journey and I've learnt a lot about the environment along the way

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