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Partnering to help remove marine debris

By Mark Beale

ECO Barge Clean Seas will continue to remove marine debris from the Whitsunday islands and coast thanks to the extension of a partnership with Cruise Whitsundays into 2015.

Cruise Whitsundays CEO Nick Hortle said this was a significant financial sponsorship for his company and a very important part of its overall community support program, totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in cash and in-kind donations to community groups.

“Cruise Whitsundays is the largest marine tourism operator in the region and we are committed to protecting the pristine environment in which we work and which we take so many Whitsundays visitors out to enjoy, so it made sense to partner with Eco Barge Clean Seas and support the work they are doing,” he said.

Eco Barge founder Libby Edge said the increased level of support from organisations such as Cruise Whitsundays over the past few years was producing tangible results.

Last year alone, Eco Barge was able to conduct 40 marine debris removal trips and a four-day expedition to the southern Whitsunday islands, removing a total of 12,607kg of debris. The organisation’s Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre was also able to rescue and care for 24 marine turtles, with eight successful rehabilitations and releases.

Ms Edge said she was thrilled with the continuation of the Eco Barge / Cruise Whitsundays partnership.

“We loved working with Cruise Whitsundays last year and such support really is invaluable to the operation of both the Whitsunday Marine Debris Removal Program and the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre,” she said. For more information about Eco Barge Clean Seas, the Whitsunday Marine Debris Removal Program or the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre visit http://www.ecobargecleanseas.org.au.

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