Putting up funds to fight plastic pollution

Eastern coast of Moreton Island

Eastern coast of Moreton Island

Healthy Waterways and Sea World Research & Rescue Foundation have announced a grants program to help fight plastic pollution

Healthy Waterways and the Sea World Research & Rescue Foundation have launched a Community Marine Debris Grant Scheme to fight against the staggering amount of litter entering South East Queensland’s waterways and threatening marine wildlife.

Healthy Waterways’ Clean Up Crew collects over 250,000 items of floating litter from South East Queensland’s waterways every year – and this is just the tip of the iceberg. The Community Marine Debris Grant Scheme is offering 14 grants to support catchment groups, schools, landholders and the general community in South East Queensland to undertake on-ground waterway litter cleanup activities for the long-term prevention of marine debris.

Chief Executive Officer of Healthy Waterways, Ms Julie McLellan, said Healthy Waterways and the Sea World Research & Rescue Foundation hope to inspire the community to get involved in the issue of waterway litter.

“Waterway litter and marine debris, particularly plastic, pose a serious threat to sea turtles and other marine wildlife. These grants are a great opportunity to monitor the impacts of waterway litter while encouraging people to lend a hand in cleaning up their local waterway,” Ms McLellan said.

“Up to 14 projects can be supported through the grant scheme and each successful applicant will receive up to $1,000 to support waterway litter cleanup activities,” she said.

Director of Sea World Research & Rescue Foundation, Trevor Long, said marine debris is a huge problem for marine life especially for some of the many turtles the foundation rescue and rehabilitate each year.

“This program aims to gather information regarding the extent of marine debris in South East Queensland while also raising community awareness about the issue. Together with Healthy Waterways and the community we feel we can make a difference in addressing this growing problem,” he said.

Grant applications close on Monday 10 February 2014. For more information, visit www.healthywaterways.org

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