Reef Guardians get onboard the Eco Barge

Published: 24/09/2012

A unique volunteer environmental protection initiative has received a much needed funding boost thanks to sponsorship from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA).

GBRMPA’s Reef Guardian program is supporting the Eco Barge Clean Seas program with $2500 sponsorship to help remove marine debris from the iconic Whitsunday Island areas.

GBRMPA Stewardship and Stakeholder Engagement Director Karen Vohland said Eco Barge Clean Seas were helping make a difference to the health of the Reef.

“Through the Reef Guardian program we are happy to assist Eco Barge Clean Seas to run more marine debris removal trips,” she said.

“This hands-on program is a local community activity with real benefits for the Great Barrier Reef.”

Eco Barge Founding chair Libby Edge says Eco Barge is dedicated to removing harmful plastics from the ocean and along shorelines.

“The Eco Barge program started in 2009 and since then we have removed a massive 60,000 kilos of marine debris from the Whitsundays,” she said.

“Volunteers are a major part of the marine debris removal program, with over 250 people helping out on clean-up missions to the Whitsunday islands.

“The impact of all of this plastic and other marine debris is devastating for the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef and in particular for protected species such as turtles and other marine mammals.”

On 30 September, the Eco Barge Clean Seas program will team up with volunteers from the Mackay and the Whitsundays to head out on a marine debris removal trip.

“We need to run these trips to keep on top of the marine plastic pollution so that our beaches are cleaned and monitored on a regular basis,” she said.

“It is only with support from our sponsors that we can keep our program ongoing and sustainable and I am thrilled with the support from the GBRMPA's Reef Guardian Program."

GBRMPA’s Reef Guardians program recognises and promotes the positive stewardship actions of local schools, councils, farmers, graziers and fishers working towards a healthier environment and healthier Great Barrier Reef.

Name: GBRMPA Media
Contact: (07) 4750 0846