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Eurobodalla trio helps clean up Orpheus Island

Three Eurobodalla Marine Debris Working Group volunteers travelled further afield last month to help remove one tonne of rubbish that had washed up on an island in the Great Barrier Reef.

Bernadette Davis, Sam Ricza and Anita Doughty joined 10 other enthusiastic ocean-loving volunteers to clean up three beaches on the southern side of Orpheus Island.

The clean-up was organised by the Tangaroa Blue Foundation, which houses the Australian Marine Debris Database used by local volunteers who regularly collect marine debris from Eurobodalla beaches and rivers.

The clean-up spanned three days and involved hiking to each location. On day one 60kg of debris was found at Fig Tree Bay, showing a big drop from Tangaroa’s last clean up six months ago. The 145kg of debris found at Big Rock Bay on day two was full of household items and bottle tops.

The third, south-east facing beach, Horseshoe Bay, was a marine debris hotspot.

“Plastic and foam had been washed onto the shoreline then pushed up above high tide into the vegetation,” said Bernadette Davis, who is also Eurobodalla Council’s Environmental Education Officer.

“Plastic crates, drums, buckets and bottles riddled the rocky shore with rubber thongs, ropes and tyres and even a tinny and an outboard motor were collected.

“In all a huge haul of 817.5kg of debris was collected from Horseshoe Bay.”

Bernadette said all the debris was counted and entered onto the Australian Marine Debris Database.

“The majority will be diverted from landfill - the hard plastics and bottles are recycled and a large amount is taken by artists who use a variety of items to highlight the issue of marine debris,” she said.

If you are interested in volunteering with the Eurobodalla Marine Debris Working Group locally email Ms Davis at bernadette.davis@esc.nsw.gov.au. For more information Tangaroa Blue clean-ups visit www.tangaroablue.org/

Above: Bernadette Davis, Sam Ricza and Anita Doughty and helped collect one tonne of rubbish washed up on the southern side of Orpheus Island in the Great Barrier Reef.

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