The Griffith Centre for Coastal Management (GCCM) has been instrumental in the Gold Coast’s Burleigh beach being named Queensland’s Cleanest Beach for 2015.

Keep Queensland Beautiful made the announcement yesterday (Thursday, May 7), acknowledging the GCCM’s role as a driver of education, expertise and broad community input into beach care.

Burleigh’s 2.5km stretch of pristine white sand was chosen above a number of other beautiful coastal stretches.

“The Gold Coast is already famous for its beautiful beaches, but we were impressed at how so many members of the Burleigh community came together to look after this precious resource,” said Keep Queensland Beautiful CEO, Mr David Curtin.

Children exploring rockpools at Burleigh

Children explore and learn about Burleigh’s rocky foreshore

Along with the GCCM, City of Gold Coast, local schools, scouting groups, surf lifesavers, the Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre and other community, environmental and sporting groups all contribute to ongoing beach care initiatives at Burleigh.

These include daily maintenance and beach sweeps, beach care litter clean-ups and audits, a butterfly corridor project, water conservation strategies, a solar-powered beach patrol tower, a heritage trail, a dune plant propagation program and outstanding school education through the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management.

GCCM Research Assistant and BeachCare Coordinator, Ms Tegan Croft, said programs were enhancing beach care awareness and activity.

Tractor conducts beach sweeping at Burleigh

Daily beach sweeping is an important part of Burleigh beach maintenance

“People are more aware of the importance of all our beaches as natural assets that must be cared for and protected,” said Ms Croft, a Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science) graduate who began volunteering with BeachCare during her undergraduate study at Griffith.

Scientific expertise, environmental passion

“Burleigh is a great example of what can be achieved through the combination of scientific expertise, environmental passion and community support and participation.

“And the message remains: if you go to the beach, leave nothing in the sand but your footprint.”

Some of the youngest members of the Burleigh community were involved in achieving the cleanest beach award, including the C&K Kindergarten and Burleigh Scouts.

“If pre-school children are able to adopt the Keep Queensland Beautiful message, then surely the rest of us can do more to prevent litter, increase recycling and generally work to make Queensland number one in Australia,” said Mr Curtin.

The Member for Burleigh, The Honourable Michael Hart MP, said he was thrilled to have Queensland’s cleanest beach added to Burleigh’s long list of achievements.

“Burleigh has always been known as a great place to live, work and raise a family and now it is even greater.”

Division 12 Councillor Greg Betts said Burleigh was one of the jewels in the Gold Coast crown.

“Everyone loves the place so much and they always take care not to destroy what they came to enjoy.”

The Clean Beaches Awards program has been running since 1999. Beaches are considered against criteria including community action and partnerships, litter prevention, heritage and culture, resource recovery and waste management, water and energy conservation and environmental protection and innovation.

Burleigh will now be in the running for the national Clean Beach Awards Competition, to be announced in Sydney on July 21.