Eco Barge makes 150th trip

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

ECO Barge Clean Seas reached a mile­stone this week, run­ning its 150th cleanup trip since the launch of the Whit­sun­day Marine De­bris Re­moval Pro­gram in July 2009.

Eco Barge founder Libby Edge said the 150 clean-up trips had re­sulted in the re­moval of 115,542kg of marine de­bris, thanks to the support of the com­mu­nity, vol­un­teers, part­ners, spon­sors and sup­port­ers.

“To see how much our vol­un­teer reg­is­ter has grown over the years has been re­mark­able,” she said.

“It gives me tremen­dous pride how our com­mu­nity has em­braced Eco Barge and [how] all our vol­un­teers are so ded­i­cated to help­ing pro­tect our is­lands and tur­tles from marine de­bris.”

Skye Briggs, a vol­un­teer on Mon­day’s trip, said it was amaz­ing that “no mat­ter how many times we go out to the south-east fac­ing beaches there is still so much marine de­bris to col­lect”.

“Imag­ine the state of our is­lands if there was not an on­go­ing marine de­bris re­moval pro­gram in the re­gion,” she said.

This lat­est trip was thanks to a part­ner­ship with the Depart­ment of Na­tional Parks, Recre­ation, Sport and Rac­ing, which has pro­vided support for the Marine De­bris Re­moval Pro­gram and the Whit­sun­day Tur­tle Res­cue Cen­tre.

Ms Edge said it was there­fore ex­tremely fit­ting that the trip also in­cluded the re­lease of ‘Bunny’, a ju­ve­nile green tur­tle, res­cued on Septem­ber 4.

“To have another suc­cess story for the Whit­sun­day Tur­tle Res­cue Cen­tre and be­ing able to re­turn this beau­ti­ful tur­tle back to the marine en­vi­ron­ment re­ally is what we are all about,” Ms Edge said.

“We clean up the marine de­bris to pre­vent the dev­as­tat­ing im­pacts that lit­ter can have for our lo­cal marine life, and with our Tur­tle Res­cue Cen­tre we are able to di­rectly care for sick and in­jured marine tur­tles – it re­ally is a dream come true.”

Mem­bers of the pub­lic who come across sick or in­jured sea tur­tles are asked to call 1300 AN­I­MAL (264 625).

For more in­for­ma­tion about Eco Barge Clean Seas, the Whit­sun­day Marine De­bris Re­moval Pro­gram or the Whit­sun­day Tur­tle Res­cue Cen­tre, visit www.eco­barge­cleanseas.org.au.

MILE­STONE TRIP: Eco Barge Clean Seas cel­e­brated its 150th clean-up trip to the Whit­sun­day is­lands on Mon­day. Pic­tured are: An­drea Schar­neck, Si­mona Pa­ganetto, Sav­ina Cornacchia, Ninni Tar­rant, David Young, Tony Dunn, Skye Briggs and Libby Edge on the Eco Barge.

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