Tur­tle love aplenty

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Inge Hansen inge.hansen@whit­sun­day­times.com.au

IT WAS all about the tur­tles when Cruise Whit­sun­days and Eco Barge Clean Seas came to­gether for World Tur­tle Day on Tues­day.

Cruise Whit­sun­days PR and media ex­ec­u­tive Alyce Carter said it was an op­por­tu­nity to not only cel­e­brate World Tur­tle Day but also raise funds for com­mu­nity part­ner Eco Barge Clean Seas.

“They do so much amaz­ing work with tur­tles by res­cu­ing them and look­ing af­ter tur­tles that are sick and in­jured,” she said.

Eco Barge Cleans Seas found­ing chair Libby Edge said the not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion, which keeps Whit­sun­day Is­lands clear of marine de­bris, was strug­gling for fund­ing be­fore Cruise Whit­sun­days came along.

“(Cruise Whit­sun­days) has gone above and beyond in the part­ner­ship and this is just an­other way they are sup­port­ing us,” she said.

“Af­ter Cy­clone Deb­bie, we know the sea­grass has been dam­aged so we’re ex­pect­ing a lot of sick and in­jured tur­tles com­ing into care in the next cou­ple of months.”

Ms Edge also runs the Whit­sun­day Tur­tle Cen­tre, which cares di­rectly for sick and in­jured tur­tles in the Mackay Whit­sun­day re­gion.

For Cruise Whit­sun­days staff, it wasn’t just World Tur­tle Day they cel­e­brated but their first day back out to the Great Bar­rier Reef since Cy­clone Deb­bie.

“We fi­nally get to go back out to Hardy Reef pon­toon, so it’s a re­ally ex­cit­ing day for us,” Ms Carter said.

Fish D’vine was also in at­ten­dance, pro­vid­ing break­fast for a gold coin do­na­tion.

Ms Edge said since its in­cep­tion, Eco Barge had col­lected more than 53,000kg of marine de­bris from the

(Cruise Whit­sun­days) has gone above and beyond in the part­ner­ship and this is just an­other way they’re sup­port­ing us.

Whit­sun­day Is­lands alone.

“Over 5000 vol­un­teers have put on the gloves to help us re­move that marine de­bris,” she said.

For more in­for­ma­tion about Eco Barge Clean Seas, visit www.eco­barge­clean seas.org.au.

— Libby Edge, Eco Barge Cleans Seas

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