Get your hands dirty and help clean up Queensland and protect the Great Barrier Reef during ReefBlitz throughout October.
ReefBlitz is a series of practical conservation activities up and down the coast organised by the Reef Citizen Science Alliance, hosted by Conservation Volunteers Australia.
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government has contributed $23,000 in support of ReefBlitz events.
“Entering its fifth year, ReefBlitz has proven incredibly successful at engaging people in citizen science activities and building awareness of the connection between what we do on land and the health of the Great Barrier Reef,” Ms Enoch said
“In this, the International Year of the Reef, every little bit of action we take will help the Reef recover.”
ReefBlitz activities include surveys of critical habitats and wildlife, and restoration activities; with the main focus this year being marine debris surveys and collections.
“Cleaning up local environments is vitally important as rubbish can easily end up in our precious waterways and harm marine life,” Ms Enoch said.
“The government has taken the lead in the waste minimisation crusade. Already this year we have banned the supply of single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags and we’re introducing a container refund scheme on 1 November.”
Townsville is a hub of ReefBlitz activities with Coastal Clean-Up Blitz events already happening locally with more to come this weekend (20 and 21 October).
A series of clean-up events is also being held across the Mackay Whitsunday region up until 4 November with support from the Mackay Whitsunday Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership.
Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said these events were important to protecting the Great Barrier Reef.
“Through these events, volunteers will collect information that helps communities understand more about how debris travels from the coast to the ocean, with the aim being to stop it at the source,” Mr Stewart said.
Results from the clean-ups in Townsville and the Mackay Whitsunday region will help determine the sources of rubbish and provide data to support local waterway health report cards. It will also help the Government to better understand where to direct its community engagement activities around littering and waste minimisation.
“This data will enhance marine debris data baselines and give communities an opportunity to demonstrate their improvements in future years,” Ms Enoch said.
Department of Environment and Science community engagement officers will be on hand at the Alva Beach clean-up event on Saturday (20 October) to discuss environmental concerns and let the community know how they can become involved in a new departmental citizen science program.
Conservation Volunteers Australia CEO, Phil Harrison, said “ReefBlitz is an opportunity for the community to unite around a common cause and demonstrate their important role in looking after the Reef.”