If you’ve ever seen a turtle fighting for life after swallowing a plastic bag, or struggling to swim after getting entangled in discarded fishing line, you’ll know the damage that marine debris can do to our local wildlife.
But more and more, people are taking to their local beaches and bays to clean up plastic bottles, fishing lines, old nets and other forms of debris that cause damage to our marine environment.
To support these community efforts, not-for-profit organisations Healthy Land and Water and the Sea World Research & Rescue Foundation have launched the 2017 Community Marine Debris Grant Scheme to fight against the staggering amount of litter entering South East Queensland’s waterways and threatening our marine wildlife.
Julie McLellan, CEO of Healthy Land and Water says: “As the impacts of plastic pollution in our oceans becomes a growing global issue, we continue to see our iconic wildlife also affected by waterway litter pollution here in Moreton Bay.
“We hope these grants continue to support the amazing work the community do in helping to keep our waterways free of litter. We are proud to continue to work closely with our communities to not only pick up litter but to stop it reaching our waterways in the first place.”
The initiative offers grants to support local environment groups, schools, landholders and the general public to undertake litter clean-up activities and marine debris prevention programs. Each successful applicant will receive up to $1,500. Grant applications close Friday 31 March 2017.
Director of Sea World Research & Rescue Foundation, Trevor Long said hundreds of marine turtles were rescued and rehabilitated each year, along with dolphins, seals and other animals, after being caught in or ingesting marine litter.
“At Sea World, we see first-hand the effects marine debris have on our marine life and we encourage people to responsibly dispose of any discarded plastics or rubbish,” Mr Long said. “These grants are a great way for local clean-up groups or anyone who cares about our local marine wildlife to make a real and positive difference.”
To submit an application for the 2017 Community Marine Debris Grant Scheme visit http://seaworld.com.au/research-and-rescue/events-and-grants/community-marine-debris-grants.aspx
For more information: Charles Stevens, Media and Communications Manager, Healthy Land and Water, 0488 713 340
About Healthy Land and Water
Healthy Land and Water is a non-profit organisation offering expertise in environmental research, monitoring and evaluation, and in the delivery of on-ground programs in South East Queensland that deliver real-world solutions to local pressures.
About The Sea World Research & Rescue Foundation
The Sea World Research & Rescue Foundation is a non-profit organisation dedicated to funding and promoting independent marine research projects. Through research and rescue activities, Sea World aims to help build our knowledge and appreciation of the wondrous variety of life in our oceans.