Burdekin Shire Council has praised all who helped remove more than half a tonne of rubbish from Alva’s beach.
Mayor Bill Lowis said six kilometres of beach was cleared of plastic, drink bottles, cans and rope.
“It’s great to see one of our shire’s best natural assets being cleaned up,” he said.
“It’s just a shame that the rubbish was left there in the first place.
“I would urge beach goers to do the right thing and leave nothing but their footprints in the sand and put their rubbish in the bins provided at Alva.”
Tangaroa Blue Foundation’s Leslie Mallinson said the event was a huge success.
“We had great partners over the weekend that made it all happen,” she said.
“The Gudjuda Reference Group started us off on Friday by bringing in a bus full of local school students who were very eager to help clean-up the beach and quad bikes to help transport the rubbish back to the base camp where the weighing and sorting took place.
“Gudjuda also provided a group of Rangers on Saturday for our Community Day and delivered a Welcome to Country talk for the rest of the volunteers.
“Other partners that joined us on Saturday were Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Burdekin Shire Council, Lower Burdekin Landcare Association, Yongala Dive and Conservation Volunteers Australia and Alva Beach locals.
“Thanks to Yongala Dive’s 4WD vehicle, and Gudjuda Reference group using their quad bikes, we were able to target further distance from our base camp, covering a larger area of beach.
“The further out we travelled, we began to see larger items, for example, an old air-conditioner unit, a large metal fan, and multiple pieces of car wreckage. We also found bleach bottles from Papua New Guinea and drink bottles from SE Asia.
“On Sunday we had a group of 11 volunteers, including locals to finish up the last section we wanted to target.
“In this section, we found four discarded crab pots and one of them was quite stuck in the mud.
“We also found quite a few aluminium cans and glass drinking bottles, indicating that the area is heavily polluted by beach goers.
“Another concerning issue that we discovered was that Alva beach is riddled with micro-plastics layers deep.”
Ms Mallinson said that although this weekend was a massive success, there was more that could be done.
“Tangaroa Blue Foundation will work with the Burdekin Shire Council on Source Reduction Plans and ideas to help promote awareness in the community, and to try and encourage the ‘Take 3 for the Sea’ mindset for the locals when they visit the beach,” she said.
“We are very happy with the effort over the weekend given by all of our awesome volunteers and partners and very thankful to NQ Dry Tropics who funded the project and helped make it all possible.”