Moreton Bay Debris Removal program

2020 - 2023
Moreton Bay

Our Team


Supporting coastal ecosystems and supporting marine life as part of the Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland Project.

Ocean Crusaders and Healthy Land and Water are working together to tackle the build-up of debris and litter threatening water quality and marine life across Moreton Bay.

Rubbish from South East Queensland’s urban areas runs into Moreton Bay from various river systems, particularly the Brisbane River, and accumulates in Moreton Bay’s coastal environments. Once there, the litter smothers vegetation and creates a direct threat to birds and marine wildlife.

Some 150 hectares of the Bay will be cleared of marine debris as part of the large-scale program, part of the Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland Project.


About the project

  • Removing marine debris threatening coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife across Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland.
  • Over 60 tonnes of marine debris will be removed across more than 150 hectares.
  • Preventing litter flowing into the internationally recognised Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland site.


Why this project is important

Everything from drink containers and polystyrene packaging to shopping trolleys can flow into the internationally recognised Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland site from Brisbane and surrounding urban areas. This rubbish collects in various coastal and marine environments – like St Helena Island – including beaches, mangroves, saltmarsh, seagrass beds, rocky shores and bay islands. Once there, it smothers vegetation and presents a direct hazard to wildlife including turtles, dugongs, shorebirds, and other marine animals who swallow or become entangled in the debris.

This pollution is also impacting ecosystems and cultural values including mangroves which improve water quality by filtering pollutants, stabilising and improving the soil, and protecting shorelines from erosion.

The marine environment also contains significant cultural values such as middens and shell scatters which are present day connections that demonstrate the thousands of years that Aboriginal people have visited St Helena Island to undertake a wide range of cultural and land management practices.

St Helena Island is a heritage listed island located on the traditional lands of the Quandamooka People. Its surrounding wetlands are also a haven for migratory wading shorebirds


This project is being delivered in partnership with Ocean Crusaders. 

This project is funded by the Australian Government. 


Over the next five years, at least 60 tonnes of marine debris will be removed from some 150 hectares of Moreton Bay.

Earlier this year, Healthy Land and Water worked with partners to clean up debris from 71 hectares of marine landscapes at Luggage Point, St Helena Island, and other Moreton Bay Islands. This included the removal of approximately 500 truck tyres used to reinforce the banks of St Helena Island that have broken free and now instead of protecting the island, are contaminating it.

Healthy Land and Water is supporting Ocean Crusaders to remove this marine debris. Ocean Crusaders are specialised, experienced contractors who have purpose built marine craft that enable them to access difficult to reach islands and estuaries. They work in small teams to target the most problematic and difficult to reach areas.

Healthy Land and Water and Ocean Crusaders will host several community clean-up days to raise awareness about the impact of litter and to involve community in the care of the Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland.


This project will help remove marine debris from hard to reach locations such as islands, estuaries, saltmarsh and mangrove wetlands, through the use of specialist contractors and purpose-built vessels.

The removal of the rubbish will help these environments naturally regenerate and will reduce the direct threat the debris poses to native wildlife.

Get in touch

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  • Address: Level 19, 160 Ann Street Brisbane QLD 4000
  • PO Box: 13204, George Street Brisbane QLD 4003
  • Phone: (07) 3177 9100
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