The origin of debris on Australian beaches is influenced by a number of factors, including proximity to urban centres, population of surrounding areas and vicinity of marine-based activities.

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2013 Campaign

Operation Clean Seas is an exciting initiative that was first launched in April 2013, supported by Caring for our Country, to encourage the whole community to get involved in reducing the impact of marine debris for our iconic marine life and aquatic environment. 

The focus of Operation Clean Seas is to have 'Our Community Cleaning Together', and for the whole month of April 2013, Eco Barge asked everyone out on the water to take a few minutes out of their fishing or boating activities to remove marine debris from island and mainland locations across the Whitsunday region.

To assist the community in getting involved Eco Barge provided free Clean Seas Kits that included information and safety equipment. Once the community returned from their day on the water there were specially marked bins provided by JR Richards at the following boat ramps; Bowen Yacht Club,  Dingo Beach, VMR Cannonvale, Abel Point Marina, Port of Airlie and Shute Harbour where you can deposit your bags of marine debris. Eco Barge then collected the bags and weighed them to tally how much marine debris was removed during Operation Clean Seas. The bags were then displayed along Shute Harbour Road in Jubilee Pocket – so the community could see the pile grow!!

Eco Barge also ran nine marine debris removal trips throughout April to allow community members without a boat to also get involved.

Thanks to the amazing support from the community the month was a huge success with 4535 kilograms of marine debris and 369 kilograms of land-based litter removed from the Whitsunday region.

Individuals, families, community groups and businesses targeted locations between Conway Beach and Abbot Point, with marine debris removed from 20 islands and 19 locations along the mainland coast including Shute Harbour, Airlie Beach foreshore, Cannonvale Beach, Shingley Beach, Grimston Point, George Point, Conway Beach, Wilson’s Beach, Dingo Beach and numerous beaches in Bowen. 

Over 83 individuals and families volunteered their time to remove marine debris either individually or on one of Eco Barge’s nine marine debris removal trips throughout April.

In addition, many businesses and community groups supported Operation Clean Seas by removing marine debris, acting as an outlet for Clean Seas Kits or providing in-kind support. Many thanks to all that were involved:

Abel Point Marina (Nth and Sth Admin offices)
Airlie Bait and Tackle
BCF Whitsunday
Bowen Outdoors and Disposals
Bowen State School
Cannonvale State School
Charter Yachts Australia
Conway Beach Caravan Park
Coral Seas Sailing Adventures
Cruise Whitsundays
Dingo Beach Hotel
Hamilton Island – Reef View Hotel
Hydeaway Bay Caravan Park
JR Richards
Kipara Tropical Rainforest Retreat
Marlin Marine Jubilee Pocket
Prime Radio – Zinc FM
Proserpine Bait and Tackle
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
Queens Beach Action Group
Reef Catchments
Shell Cannonvale
Solway Lass
True Blue Sailing
Whitsunday Escape 
Whitsunday Fishing World
Whitsunday Lions Club
Whitsunday Regional Council
Whitsunday Seafood Bar 

We are so delighted with the results of Operation Clean Seas, with the support from the community definitely surpassing our expectations. A huge thank you to everyone that was involved, together we really made a difference to help protect our local marine life and reduce the amount of marine debris on our coast and islands.

Marine debris removed from the
Whitsunday islands since July 2009
= 174,764 kilograms