- Thursday 22 January 2015
More than 1 million marine animals die every single year from entanglement or ingestion of marine debris.
To combat this, Sunshine Coast Council through its volunteer TurtleCare program, ReefCheck Australia and Underwater World SEALIFE Mooloolaba are calling on residents to give local turtle hatchlings the best chance of survival, by joining a massive beach-to-sea clean-up event on Saturday January 31.
There are several clean-up locations across the Coast from Shelly Beach to Mooloolaba. Sign on is at 6.15am at each location. Participants then take their rubbish to La Balsa Park, Point Cartwright from 7.30am where they will receive a free breakfast BBQ, a participation gift of one free general admission to Underwater World SEALIFE, a Picitup shoulder bag, plus the chance to win a once in a lifetime experience.
Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said Loggerhead turtles are one of the Sunshine Coasts endangered species and Council is committed to protecting and enhancing their habitat.
“Litter on beaches and in waterways can be fatal to all marine life. Sea turtle hatchlings are pelagic for the first year of their life and feed of the surface of the ocean—they often mistake small floating plastics for food, with devastating effects,” Cr McKay said.
“We are urging residents to take rubbish home, be mindful of fishing line and bait bags and to even go one step further and pick up litter if they see it.
“At last year’s clean-up event, around 100 residents joined the clean-up and collected over 220kg of rubbish. This year, we’d love more people to take part and raise awareness about the issues caused by marine debris.
“We’ve had two endangered Loggerhead Turtle nests emerge already this season and we’re expecting several more over January and February. There are around 30 nests incubating on our beaches right now.”
Residents can register their attendance online at www.turtlecare.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au where they can select a clean-up location.