Finalist: Sustainable Education Award

Coolum and North Shore Coast Care

Terrific Turtles, Revolting Rubbish
Mudjimba, Noosa

After volunteers from Coolum and North Shore Coast Care attended yet another marine turtle stranding, they felt the need to act. Beginning in 2012, the group launched its Terrific Turtles, Revolting Rubbish project to collect long-term data on marine debris. The group surveys four Sunshine Coast beaches on the same day each month, providing a consistent dataset that is regularly shared with scientific groups, universities and research projects.

In the six years of the program, Coolum and North Shore Coast Care volunteers have conducted almost 300 beach surveys and clean-ups, resulting in the collection of 30,000 pieces of rubbish including 3412 pieces collected in 2017 alone. The project has helped achieve cleaner beaches, informed several marine studies and built community awareness about the threat marine debris poses to the environment.