Community encouraged to clean-up beaches for turtle hatchlings
  • Thursday 12 January 2017
Turtle hatchling

As the first turtle hatchlings of the season begin to make their way from their nests to the ocean, TurtleCare groups and wildlife experts are calling on the Sunshine Coast community to join the effort to clear local beaches of rubbish and debris.

Environment Councillor Jenny McKay encouraged local residents and visitors to join TurtleCare Sunshine Coast, ReefCheck Australia and SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast, for an enormous land to sea clean-up event from Shelly Beach to Marcoola on Saturday, February 11.

“Following the success of last year’s event, which saw more than 500kg of debris removed from beaches and waterways, we're urging Sunshine Coast residents to roll up their sleeves again for 2017,” Cr McKay said.

“Our TurtleCare volunteers have had a busy turtle season with nests due to emerge from now through to early March.

“Ingestion of marine debris is one of the major causes of death in sea turtles. 

"Participating in this beach clean-up event will give the little guys born on our beaches the best chance of survival."

SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast and ReefCheck Australia have donated some ‘turtley awesome’ prizes that registered volunteers can go into the draw to win including:

  • A seal swim and a shark-dive adventure with SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast
  • A double dive of the ex-HMAS Brisbane wreck with ScubaWorld

Community volunteers will remove litter and debris from the shoreline while ReefCheck Australia volunteers will have their heads underwater cleaning up the Mooloolah  River mouth.

ReefCheck Australia spokeswoman Jodi Salmond said everyone could make a difference when it comes to marine debris by making small changes to daily behaviours.

“This event is an amazing example of what we can do when we all work together," Ms Salmond said.

"Think about the items you use daily and aim to reduce your waste.  Say no to single use plastics- buy in bulk, use reusable shopping bags and invest in a re-usable coffee cup."

ReefCheck Australia is supported through a three-year Environment Levy Community Partnership Grant with the Sunshine Coast Council.

Sign-on for the event will take place at 6:15am at beaches across the Coast from Shelly Beach north to Marcoola. A complimentary barbecue breakfast will be provided to volunteers at La Balsa Park at Pt Cartwright after the event (from 8am).

To register for the event, or to find out more information visit: https://www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/Experience-Sunshine-Coast/Events/Whats-On/3104