This year OCCA participated in the Sea World Research and Rescue Community Marine Debris (CMD) Grant Program. The CMD Program provides grants for waterway clean-up projects in South East Queensland. Both Sea World and Healthy Land and Waterway sponsor the CMD Program. As part of the projects, data on the litter collected is recorded in accordance with methodology set out by Tangaroa Blue, which coordinates the Australian Marine Debris Initiative. Waterway litter, particularly plastic and discard fishing gear, poses a serious threat to turtles and other wildlife. Understanding the range of items and their potential source are a vital step in creating a positive future for wildlife. 2017 was the fourth year Sea World offered CMD grants, and OCCA applied for a grant to run clean ups along Oxley Creek, at designated litter hot spots (as shown in Healthy Land and Water datasets).
With funding from the CMD program, OCCA ran a morning of clean ups on Saturday 19th August. The Pamphlett-Tennyson Sea Scouts and OCCA volunteers travelled, by boat, upstream from the Sea Scouts to the Common, collecting litter along the way. On land litter clean ups were held at both Graceville Riverside Parklands (next to the Sea Scouts) and Oxley Creek Common to add to the ‘on water’ clean-up efforts and to provide points for litter collection and auditing.
Brisbane City Council supported the event, holding a pop-up litter clean stall at Simpson’s Playgrounds, Graceville, and educating the general public on the latest Council ‘104 or more’ litter prevention program.
In addition to the litter clean ups, some volunteers spent the morning weeding at Oxley Creek Common with the Tuesday Common Carers.
So what happened to all the rubbish we collected and the litter audit data? Well, after it was sorted by our volunteers, the rubbish was deposited at collection points and collected by Brisbane City Council to be disposed of appropriately. The results from the litter audits were sent to the Australian Marine Debris Initiative.
OCCA would like to thank Sea World Research and Rescue, Healthy Land and Water, the Brisbane City Council, the Pamphlett-Tennyson Sea Scouts and all of the volunteers who helped make The Common and Oxley Creek cleaner.