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New Plan Developed To Clear Marine Debris

By Mark Beale

Whitsunday residents have joined forces with the Whitsunday Regional Council and marine debris experts to stop marine debris entering the Great Barrier Reef through local creeks and beaches.

A recent workshop, run by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), identified where marine debris washing up on local creeks and beaches was coming from and developed a source reduction plan to stop it.

GBRMPA project officer Samantha Gibbs said plastic bags, discarded fishing gear, plastic and glass bottles, rubber thongs, aerosols and drink cans were commonly found in the reef region.

“It comes from our everyday activities, which means everyone has a role to play in reducing the amount of marine debris entering our environment,” she said.

Heidi Taylor, from Tangaroa Blue Foundation, said data used to develop the plan was collected from last year’s Great Barrier Reef Clean-up.

“We use this information to identify the quantity and types of marine debris found along Australia’s coastlines and use it to identify trends over time for a plan to reduce marine debris,” Ms Taylor said.

GBRMPA and Tangaroa Blue are working with eight Reef Guardian councils along the Great Barrier Reef coast to develop plans to reduce marine debris.


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