Injury and fatality to vertebrate marine life caused by ingestion of, or entanglement in, harmful marine debris has been listed as a key threatening process under the Australian Government's Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

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Successful Grants


SUNSUPER DREAMS FOR A BETTER WORLD GRANT - 'Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre and Whitsunday Marine Debris Removal Program'. This grant was won in February 2016. Eco Barge were entered into round 4 of the 2015 Dreams for a Better World grant program, We made it to the final 4, then won the public voting round, and came second in the Grand Final. This grant will be used for the duration of 2016, and the money will be used in both the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre and too help fund the Whitsunday Marine Debris Removal Program.

AURIZON COMMUNITY GIVING FUND - 'Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre'. This grant is being undertaken from December 2015 - June 2016. The Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre (WTRC) is equipped to provide care for sick or injured marine turtles. This funding will allow 24 turtles to receive the care they need throughout 2016. High priority costs for providing care include the provision of food, medication and other veterinary procedures, as well as transportation when required.


EVERYONE'S ENVIRONMENT GRANT - 'Engage the Whitsunday community to prevent and remove marine debris'. This grant is being undertaken from March 2015 to February 2016 with 26 marine debris removal trips and one four-day Expedition being planned to continue to remove newly arriving marine debris from the beaches of the Whitsunday region. The marine debris will also be sorted and counted to be uploaded onto the Australian Database Initiative to assist with the tracking of marine debris sources and the implementation of practical solutions to prevent marine debris from entering our oceans.


KEEP AUSTRALIA BEAUTIFUL, BEVERAGE CONTAINER RECYCLING COMMUNITY GRANT - 'Whitsunday Marine Debris Removal Program'. This grant will allow four marine debris trips to be undertaken in 2015 which will contribute to the goal to undertake 40 marine debris removal trips each year. The marine debris will also be sorted and counted to provide an indication of the types and quantities of rubbish that is being removed from the beaches of the Whitsunday Islands.


FRIENDS OF PARKS - 'Establishing the Whitsunday Marine Turtle Response Program'. This grant was undertaken between November 2013 and December 2014 and has the following objectives: (1) to provide fast and appropriate care for all sick and injured marine turtles in the Whitsunday region by initiating a structured program that ensures a response to all reported turtle stranding events; (2) to provide community volunteers with the means of safely and effectively responding to stranded turtles; and (3) to ensure that the entire Whitsunday community, particularly the tourism and boating industries, are aware of what to do and who to contact in the event that a stranded turtle is encountered.

LORD MAYORS CHARITABLE FOUNDATION - 'Mapping marine debris hotspots in the Whitsunday region'. This grant was undertaken from August 2013 to July 2014 and expands on the monitoring trips of the Caring for our Country project that indicated varying rates of accumulation on beaches in the Whitsunday region. This project will analyse an additional five hotspot locations to gain a more comprehensive knowledge of the incidence of marine debris across the Whitsunday region.

EVERYONE'S ENVIRONMENT GRANT - 'Increasing the involvement of the Whitsunday community in removing marine debris'. This grant was undertaken from March 2013 to March 2014 with an average of two trips being completed each month to focus on marine debris both above and below the water. This project allowed Eco Barge to join forces with Order of the Underwater Coral Heroes (O.U.C.H) to remove underwater marine debris from popular anchorages in the Whitsunday region and also assisted the Whitsunday Marine Debris Removal Program to remain constant and on-going throughout the project period.


CARING FOR OUR COUNTRY - 'Reducing the incidence and threat of marine debris in the Whitsunday region'. This grant was undertaken from September 2012 to June 2013 with a focus on activities that respond to the Australian Government's Marine Debris Threat Abatement Plan, which is focused on preventing, removing and mitigating the threat of marine debris. Our project addressed each of these issues through (1) reducing marine debris; (2) understanding marine debris; and (3) preventing marine debris. This project got the community involved through monitoring marine debris removal trips, the Clean Streets and Creeks Program and Operation Clean Seas.

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