Mangroves suffering from coastal littering
LOCAL conservation groups are becoming increasingly concerned about the amount of rubbish and marine debris washing up in Gladstone's mangroves and saltmarsh and its potential impact on marine life.
Litter has been identified at 251 sites along the mangroves during aerial and field surveys in the past week.
To tackle the problem Conservation Volunteers Australia has teamed with scientists from MangroveWatch, Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers from Gidarjil Development Corporation and Tangaroa Blue to identify marine debris hot-spots and clean up Gladstone's mangrove and tidal wetland habitats with support from the Gladstone Healthy Harbours partnership.
MangroveWatch director and JCU researcher Jock Mackenzie said the natural tendency of mangroves to trap objects lent the area to being a natural rubbish dump.
The most common items found were abandoned crab pots.
"Mangroves are the kidneys of the reef and at the moment we're feeding our marine environment junk food. Plastic is everywhere you go in the mangroves,” Mr Mackenzie said.
CVA is encouraging residents to attend a free ideas forum today at the Boyne Island Education centre to learn more about the health of Gladstone's mangroves. The forum runs from 6-8pm. Residents are also invited to become a MangroveWatch citizen-scientist at a training day tomorrow at the same location from 8.30am-3.30pm.
To RSVP contact 0418630503 or firstname.lastname@example.org.