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Guys! We did it! Our Wild Mob Youth Ambassadors and volunteers have removed  just under a tonne of marine debris from the Great Barrier Reef! And audited it all at Mulherin Park in Mackay this weekend.

There were lots of smiles, positive energy and sense of community spirit in undertaking this mammoth task. It was amazing to have both radio and newspaper coverage, as well as ABC,  Channel 7 and 9 cover the event too!

YA mentor, the amazing Kalindi Brennan, said of the day: “I’m just so proud of these young folk for stepping up, taking on an environmental challenge and doing their bit to conserve the Great Barrier Reef. Keep the momentum going and do your bit too! Protect the Sea. Pick up Debris!”

The collection

Our Youth Ambassadors first headed out to Brampton and Goldsmith island to collect two HUGE stockpiles of marine plastic and other debris bagged up by Wild Mob volunteers over the past year, bringing it back to the mainland by barge.

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The audit

Next, it was time to collect the data! The debris was sorted by the Ambassadors and members of the local Mackay community. All data was provided to the Australian marine debris database  Tangaroa Blue, who were also there to help out on the day.

We couldn’t have done it without the support of Tangaroa’s Vanessa, who brought auditing expertise to increase quality of data gathered.

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The numbers:

It was shocking to sift through thousands of hard plastic remnants, plastic bottles and other discarded items having a negative impact on marine ecosystems…. Here are just some of the items we found:

Brampton Island: 165 kg
978 plastic  bottle lids
1485 plastic remnants
68 thongs

Penrith Island: 190kg
708 plastic bags
230 drink bottles
6287 plastic  remnants
122 thongs
45 shoes

Goldsmith  Island: 538 kg
1409 lids tops
309 rope scraps
3996 hard plastics
218 soft plastics
455 insulation/ packaging
93 Aluminium  cans
177 thongs

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The disposal

Finally, all the junk was hauled off to be recycled or disposed of responsibly, keeping it out of the natural ecosystem for good! Go team!

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Protect the sea, pick up debris!

A huge congrats to all our amazing Youth Ambassadors! And a huge thank you to everyone who supported this campaign along the way. Watch this space to see what these amazing young people do next!

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