Collecting litter from waterways to protect our marine wildlife and ecosystems.
Healthy Land and Water’s Clean Up Program is a frontline project in the fight to combat the impact of marine debris in South East Queensland’s waterways and bay areas.
Our Clean Up crew collects floating and bank-bound litter from our waterways, removing the waste before it flows out into Moreton Bay where it can do untold harm to our marine wildlife and ecosystems.
Once the waste has been collected, we analyse and categorise it so we can better understand how, why and when litter is entering our waterways and work together to stop litter at the source.
About the project
- In the 2020/2021 financial year the project removed over 16 tonnes of mostly lightweight plastics from South East Queensland waterways.
- The most common items removed from serviced waterways were plastic food wrapping, polystyrene and small plastic pieces.
Why this project is important
Despite our best efforts, marine debris is still considered to be one of the most serious threats facing oceans, coastal areas and beaches both here in South East Queensland and throughout the world.
In South East Queensland alone, waterways are estimated to deliver over $10b a year to the region’s economy through a range of services and activities like recreation, drinking water supply, tourism and fishing.
Waterway and marine litter originate from many sources, but we know approximately 80% is from a land-based source. This litter causes a wide spectrum of environmental, economic, safety, health and cultural impacts. The very slow rate of degradation of most waterway and marine litter items, mainly plastics, together with the continuously growing quantity of the litter and debris disposed, is leading to a gradual increase in litter found in our waterways, at sea and on our shores
Check out the video below to find out more about the program!
Want to get involved?
Supporting the Clean Up Program is a wonderful way of showcasing your commitment to improving waterway health in South East Queensland. If you’d like to help fund the Clean Up Program or support our program in another way, contact Healthy Land and Water Senior Scientist Rachael Nasplezes at email@example.com or by phone on 0459 213 477.
- Immediately removing a known waterway pollutant from waterways.
- Mitigating the impacts of litter and debris on mortality of local marine wildlife.
- Collecting and analysing litter from South East Queensland’s waterways.
- Helping deliver on local government litter removal action plans.
- Providing a platform for community members, industry groups and government to work together to protect the region’s waterways.
The benefits from the reduction of litter include improved ecosystem and wildlife health, and increased economic, recreational, environmental, and indigenous and tourism values of both marine and freshwater environments.
The program is increasing the amenity value of local waterways through removing unsightly litter and marine debris.
In the 2020/2021 financial year the program removed over 16 tonnes of rubbish from five catchments, operating on a part-time basis.
- Brisbane River – As a coastal, subtropical city, Brisbane is defined by its river and Moreton Bay, this year the program serviced 24 days removing over three tonnes of mainly lightweight plastic litter from Brisbane waterways
- Logan River – The waterways of Logan City are recognised for their social, economic and environmental values and are an important part of the cityscape, contributing to the character, liveability and lifestyle of the region. The Clean Up crew spent 12 days removing over one tonne of floating and bank bound litter.
- Bremer River – The Bremer River provides many uses and values to its residents and visitors alike, including healthy aquatic ecosystems driving healthy fisheries, recreation and cultural and spiritual values. The Clean Up crew spent 12 days removing over one tonne of floating and bank bound litter.
- Caboolture and Pine Rivers – The public benefits from the immediate removal and reduction of litter include improved ecosystem and wildlife health, increased economic, recreational, environmental, and indigenous and tourism values of both marine and freshwater environments. The Clean Up crew spent 30 days removing over 2.3 tonnes of floating and bank bound litter.
This program is a highly-successful example of all levels of government, community and industry coming together to address an important issue for our catchments.
This project is supported by Healthy Land and Water, through funding from the Australian Government’s Environment Restoration Fund.
This project is co-funded by Brisbane City Council, Ipswich City Council, Logan City Council, Moreton Bay Regional Council, the Queensland Government and Australian Government.