Griffith University students and graduates contributed plenty to the volunteer spirit demonstrated at a land and sea clean-up at the Gold Coast Seaway yesterday (May 24).
In the water, Griffith Uni Dive Club members were among those retrieving debris, while on land, groups including the Gold Coast Catchment Association and the newly launched Gold Coast Intrepid Landcare – both with strong Griffith connections –completed beach and park work.
Plenty of volunteers were on hand for the event, which was coordinated through Reef Check Australia. Other participants included the City of Gold Coast, Responsible Divers, Responsible Runners and Nerang Riverkeepers.
The next step will be for all collected items to be recorded through the Australian Marine Debris Initiative to inform protection strategies for local marine wildlife against threatened and actual pollution.
Reef Check Australia spokeswoman Ms Jodi Salmond says marine debris is a huge problem, killing thousands of sea birds, turtles and marine animals each year.
“It’s estimated that more than 80 per cent of collected marine debris originates from the land. With six million tonnes of rubbish making its way into our oceans every year, community clean-ups highlight the direct effect on important ecosystems,” she says.