A car tyre, election signs, chairs, fishing equipment, eskies and three bags of rubbish were plucked from the Caboolture River in just a two-hour period during day one of a new waterway litter removal program.
Healthy Land and Water’s Clean Up crew removed the boatload of rubbish during the launch of the Caboolture River Clean Up program, a new mission to reduce the impact of litter pollution on Moreton Bay Marine Park.
Moreton Bay Regional Council is teaming with Healthy Land and Water on the $25,000 program, which will see the Clean Up crew regularly patrolling the river to remove litter and other debris over the next 12 months.
The collection area will span 21 kilometres from the mouth of the Caboolture River at Burpengary to the Edward Street weir near Caboolture Town Square.
For the first time, all litter removed from the river will be meticulously recorded and collated into a publicly-available dataset revealing where litter is coming from and how government, community and industry can work together to stop litter at its source.
The launch of the program is timely, with studies showing plastic pollution and other waterway debris are one of the gravest threats facing world-famous Moreton Bay and the unique marine life that call it home.
Research conducted by University of Queensland revealed thirty percent of dead turtles found in Moreton Bay had ingested plastic litter after mistaking it for food.
Moreton Bay Regional Councillor for Division 3 Adam Hain said keeping the Caboolture River clean was important to ensure future generations could enjoy the natural asset for years to come.
“Keeping our river clean will increase fish habitats and increase the amount of aquatic life,” Cr Hain said.
“We can all do our bit by taking responsibility for disposing rubbish the appropriate way and council’s already taking the lead in southeast Queensland banning plastic straws at our events.
“It’s a simple measure, but combined with other waste reduction initiatives, we are hoping to leave our natural environment and waterways in an improved condition for the next generation.”
Healthy Land and Water CEO Julie McLellan congratulated Moreton Bay Regional Council for taking a positive step to reduce the devastating impact of plastic pollution on our waterways.
“The launch of the Clean Up Program in the Caboolture River will improve the visual amenity and recreation values of the waterway, and help council and the community better understand the issue of litter pollution and how to prevent it,” she said.
“Most importantly, it will significantly reduce the amount of rubbish entering Moreton Bay, improve the quality of marine habitats and reduce the number of marine animals injured or killed each year by ingesting plastic pollution.”
Healthy Land and Water’s Clean Up crew has been patrolling the Brisbane River since 1999, and currently runs identical patrols in waterways at Ipswich, Logan and the Gold Coast.
In the year to June 2017, the Clean Up crew plucked 75,000 pieces of litter from South East Queensland’s waterways.
Single-use plastic bottles were the most common item picked out of South East Queensland’s waterways in the 2016-2017 financial year
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