Students join local experts and volunteers to help turtles
  • Monday 21 November 2016
Students pick up rubbish on the beach

Approximately 200 Sunshine Coast school students today joined conservation volunteers and local turtle experts to collect 108 kilograms of rubbish from beaches around the Maroochy River, Mudjimba and North Shore areas ahead of turtle nesting season.

The group included more than 160 students from Buderim State School and 20 environmental leaders from Chancellor State College who joined forces with volunteers from TurtleCare, Coolum and North Shore Coast Care, Apex Camps and Steph Gabriel from OceanZen Bikini.

The group picked up a range of rubbish and marine debris, counted what was collected and recorded data in the Australian Marine Debris Database.

Division 8 Councillor Jason O’Pray said he was excited to join local school students and volunteers to help protect Maroochydore’s beaches and improve the health of the region’s marine life.

“With another busy summer just around the corner and turtle nesting season on the way, it’s fantastic to join with our community volunteers and students to ensure our beaches are in good shape,” Cr O’Pray said.

“We know our job as a community is to protect and enhance our local environment for future generations to enjoy, so it’s great to be sharing that message of responsibility and appreciation with young local students.”

Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said the clean-up day was the first of many events planned to assist volunteers with beach and dune conservation as female turtles prepare to lay their eggs along the Coast’s beaches.

“We will be holding future events like this early next year when the turtle hatchlings arrive, but everyone can do their bit to help protect our beaches every day,” Cr McKay said.

“Today we collected 850 cigarette butts, more than 1000 pieces of soft plastics, 150 plastic food packaging and containers and 86 glass bottles. 

“We encourage all visitors to our beaches to dispose of their rubbish thoughtfully and help us protect our local turtles and marine life.”