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15 Apr 2019 10:48:32
Australia is a vast country, with a coastline stretching almost 50,000 kilometres. Around that coastline, we have more than 10,000 beaches. Whether it’s a powdery white surf spot, a pebbly bay, or mountainous yellow dunes, we have more beaches than any other country on earth. Some of the most stunning beaches are on the Sunshine Coast, which is why beach conservation matters.
To honour World Oceans Day, fifty-five SEA LIFE Aquariums around the world are leading a local beach clean up. Our event is one of the best things to do on the Sunshine Coast, with hundreds of friendly volunteers walking along the shoreline and dunes. You’ll be shocked by how much rubbish we find, even on the cleanest stretches of sand. Some of the most common items are the smallest, such as drinking straws and microplastics, which readily pass into the food chain.
After collection, our SEA LIFE Marine Biologists will sift through the rubbish to collect data about what type it is, and where it comes from. This helps us go straight to the source. We’ve had fruitful talks with local businesses about curbing the use of drinking straws and plastic soy sauce fish. In February 2018, it became illegal to release balloons, and we’ve already seen a significant reduction in the number of balloons washing up on the beach. This is fantastic news for our fishy and birdy pals.
Why do people leave their rubbish behind? Mostly, it’s plain laziness. They might expect the council to clean up after them, or maybe their rubbish blew away and they couldn’t be bothered chasing it. But if every person left just one piece of debris behind, that’s thousands of pieces of trash ready to become a snack for sea life.
We have surf, sand and scenery, but did you know we also have a unique number of sea turtles? They choose our beautiful beaches to come ashore and nest. When the hatchlings emerge, they face the fight of their lives, racing to the sea before predators can pick them off. So, let’s help our flipper-y friends by removing the rubbish which gets in their way.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of rubbish that needs to be collected. Don’t stress about it; start small. One of the best things you can do is ‘Take 3 for the Sea.’ Pick up three pieces of rubbish each time you leave the beach, and deposit them safely in a recycling or garbage bin. If we can each manage a small effort every time, it makes a big difference.
We’d love you to join our Beach Clean Up for World Oceans Day, at Mooloolaba Beach on Saturday, June 8, at 8am. Wear sturdy gloves and covered shoes. This is a plastic-free event, so please use a reusable drink bottle, and we’ll provide you with recyclable bags. Learn more about organising an event of your own.