CLEAN TEAM: Volunteers come together to clean-up  islands around the Great Barrier Reef as part of ReefClean.
CLEAN TEAM: Volunteers come together to clean-up islands around the Great Barrier Reef as part of ReefClean. Contributed

Is this the biggest organised clean-up on our islands?

IN A Gladstone first a group has organised an island and beach clean-up along the Great Barrier Reef to collect data and help the environment.

Conservation Volunteers Australia teamed up with Tangaroa Blue for the Australian Government initiative, ReefClean.

The first of the biannual cleans was on Facing Island on Wednesday where 130kg of rubbish was collected.

Conservation Volunteers Australia Gladstone regional manager Linda Fahle said they were expecting a lot more rubbish.

"It was mostly micro-plastic, really small bits of plastic, a few bottles, cable reels. Just the smaller things," Mrs Fahle said.

What makes ReefClean unique is rubbish doesn't just get removed and thrown away.

Instead it will be analysed to collect data.

"We count every piece and it gets categorised into the Australian Marine Debris database," Mrs Fahle said.

"Getting this data and knowing what we're picking up, we can find out what ways we can reduce what we're finding in these areas."

Mrs Fahle said Tangaroa Blue was able to provide a detailed analysis of the plastic found, including identifying the origin of labels and tags.

Next Wednesday a clean will be held on Curtis Island where volunteers will spend the day cleaning the beach and harbour areas.

ReefClean will be run at sites across the state biannually for five years and is funded by the Australian Government's Reef Trust.

Mrs Fahle said the most motivating part of the project was the long-term impact it would have on protecting the reef.

"We all live here, we all enjoy going out and spending time using these natural resources," she said.

"When you do remove 130kg (of rubbish) out of the environment, you're reducing the impact it'll have immediately on marine wildlife.

 

"You know you're saving many micro pieces of plastic remaining there.

"You can get some really good data and get some changes."

A clean-up will also be organised later this month at Agnes Water with the second set of cleans being run in October.

Anyone is welcome to come along to the Curtis Island ReefClean.

Meet the team at the Curtis Island Ferry Services terminal at 7.30am Wednesday for free transport and morning tea.

The trip will return to Gladstone at 5pm.

Registration is essential. Contact Mrs Fahle at lfahle@ cva.org.au or call 0418630503.



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