Derelict fishing gear, such as nets and pots, can continue to catch marine life and result in their death if they are unable to escape. This is known as ghost fishing.

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2012

Eco Barge Clean Seas is very excited to announce that its application for the Queensland Government's Everyone's Environment Grant was successful!! The project "Increasing the involvement of the Whitsunday community in removing marine debris to maintain the beauty of our iconic region" will allow Eco Barge Clean Seas to undertake 24 marine debris removal trips in 2013, which will include 12 trips with Order of the Underwater Coral Heroes (O.U.C.H) to remove underwater marine debris. Click on the link to find out more.

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Eco Barge Clean Seas has produced the 2013 ‘Kids Caring for our Coast’ calendar showcasing the impact of marine debris from the perspective of local school children. The calendar is an exciting way to highlight the ways in which our community can help to reduce marine debris from entering the marine environment in the Whitsunday Region. The 2013 calendars are now available to purchase for $5 with all proceeds being used to help support Eco Barge in our mission to keep our seas clean.

Calendars are available for purchase at: Angel Signs; Bendigo Bank, Centro; Cannonvale Kidz; Charter Yachts Whitsunday; Comet Coffee (Mackay); Cruise Whitsundays (Shute Harbour Booking Office); Ethos; Reef Catchments (Mackay); PRD; Westpac

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Eco Barge celebrates their 60th clean up

Eco Barge ran its 60th marine debris removal trip thanks to Reef Catchments on the 29th November 2012. Reef Catchments have supported the Whitsunday Marine Debris Removal Program since Eco Barge launched the program back in July 2009, and to date, Eco Barge has removed a massive 66 thousand kilograms of marine debris, of which 17,225 kilograms was collected through trips funded by Reef Catchments and the Reef Catchment Public Fund.

Libby Edge, Founding Chair of Eco Barge said that “When I approached Reef Catchments in October 2008 they were the first to put up their hand to help support the launch of the Whitsunday Marine Debris Removal Program and today they are our very first Starfish sponsor, which helps keep our Marine Debris Removal Program ongoing and sustainable. Reef Catchments has been with us from the start and I am very excited to have them on board for our 60th trip.”

60 trips is a huge milestone for the Whitsunday Marine Debris Removal Program and Eco Barge Clean Seas would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the sponsors and volunteers who have helped to make the Program so successful. “We could not have achieved this milestone without the remarkable sponsorship and in-kind support from the local community, not to mention over 200 volunteers who have donned the gloves to assist us in removing marine debris from our marine environment.”

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Eco Barge Clean Seas held its first Community Education Night on Wednesday 21st November at its brand new headquarters! Guest speakers, light refreshments, a lucky door prize and guessing game attracted a crowd of 20 people. Presentations on the evening included a talk about the current and future state of the Great Barrier Reef by Jacquie Sheils (Eco Crew). Libby Edge (Eco Barge) then gave us the story of Eco Barge from beginning to its recent projects and Jacki Smith (Eco Barge) then provided a summary of our exciting Caring for our Country project. 

Ethos generously donated our door prize, which was a $50 voucher to be spent in their store which supports community trade. Ethos proudly presents a beautiful range of fair trade handcrafted products and eco-friendly gifts and home wares sourced from around the world. Woodmans Mitre 10 was also kind enough to contribute to our prize for the guessing game.

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The inaugural Mackay Coastal Clean Up was held last weekend on 13 and 14 of October and thanks to BMA, all our supporters, beach adopters and the Mackay and Sarina community the event was a huge success! The event targeted 12 beaches over the weekend and cleaned up a total of 2,689 kilograms of marine debris.

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GBRMPAs Reef Guardian Program has come on as a NEMO SPONSOR!! On 30 September, the Eco Barge Clean Seas program will team up with volunteers from GBRMPA in Mackay and the Whitsundays to head out on a marine debris removal trip. Click on the link to find out more.

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We are very excited to announce that Eco Barge Clean Seas Inc. has been successful in obtaining a project grant through the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country 2012 – 2013 Investment Plan. The project ‘Reducing the incidence and threat of marine debris in the Whitsunday Region, QLD’ will provide a huge boost to Eco Barge Clean Seas enabling us to launch many community activities and awareness programs. We will need many volunteers from the community for each of these activities, so please keep an eye on our website for our up and coming events!!

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Eco Barge Clean Seas Inc. recently won the Healthy Waterways Alliance Community Award for the Mackay Whitsunday Isaac region. Libby attended the award presentation in Mackay on the 14th June as one of three finalists, and was delighted to come home with the award. The interest that Eco Barge Clean Seas Inc. and the Marine Debris Removal Program are receiving this year is overwhelming, but it highlights the amazing achievements of our small not-for-profit organisation and also acknowledges the dedicated efforts that have made by all involved - 61,000 kgs of marine debris and counting!!

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Eco Barge Clean Seas Inc (and Libby!) can be seen on the front cover of the White Pages for the Mackay and Whitsunday Region for 2012-2013!! Each year the White Pages selects a theme to appear on the front cover and this year the theme was 'A Helping Hand, The Aussie Way' to recognise people in communities across Australia who go above and beyond to help those in need. It is such an amazing honour to have been selected and it is hoped that the increased exposure of Eco Barge will highlight our program and encourage further involvement in our important mission.



















Marine debris removed from the
Whitsunday islands since July 2009
= 171,316 kilograms