Students learn first-hand that plastic is not fantastic
  • Wednesday 26 August 2020
Beach clean up

Year 10 and 11 Geography students from Chancellor State College put theory into practice yesterday (Tuesday 26 August 2020) at a coastal education morning hosted by Sunshine Coast Council.

Collecting data for their assignment ‘Plastics in the Ocean’, they saw first-hand the impact of marine debris on our beaches, picking up everything from full doggy poo bags and used band aids to discarded school bags.

They also got the chance to plant native trees to rehabilitate the dunes.

Division 8 Councillor Jason O’Pray joined the students at Mudjimba beach for the morning and thanked the teachers and students for giving back to the beach and hoped the morning challenged them to think about different solutions to the marine debris problem.

“The students were challenged to come up with ideas to reduce rubbish at the source so it doesn’t end up at the beach and in our oceans in the first place,” Cr O’Pray said.
“If all we ever do is clean up, that’s all we’ll ever do – we need to think about actions we can take to stop this marine debris at the source.

“The rubbish collected on their beach clean-up was weighed and sorted and will be entered into the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI).”
Groups nation-wide input their information into the AMDI database, recording the location, quantities and types of marine rubbish collected, to give an overview of the impact on beaches across the country.

Cr O’Pray said the students planted 200 native Casuarinas, banksias, tuckeroos and macarangas trees as part of council’s BushCare Mates program.
“BushCare Mates is a school conservation program that uses BushCare and tree planting to educate and inspire students to connect with their local environment while fostering a sense of community.

“The trees planted at Marcoola will take five to 10 years to grow providing long-term protection for our dunes from erosion and food and habitat for birds and wildlife,” Cr O’Pray said.

“It was great that council was able to support the students with some hands-on learning.”

Schools are encouraged to contact council via CoastalandCanals@sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au to arrange similar practical coastal learning experiences to support classroom learning.

Council provides planning, preparation, supervision and materials for a coastal education activity.

A COVID-safe plan was in place for the morning.