One simple idea and a whole lot of passion has created a legacy that’s removed more than 250,000 pieces of litter from Sunshine Coast beaches at a critical time during turtle nesting season.
And now it’s time to celebrate a decade of helping turtle hatchlings make it to the ocean, thanks to a partnership between Sunshine Coast Council, Reef Check Australia, Unitywater, SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast Aquarium and Noosa Council.
The community is invited to come together to tidy up their local beach as part of the 10th anniversary of the annual Clean Up For The Hatchlings event on Saturday, February 3.
Jodi Salmond, General Manager from Reef Check Australia, is one of the founding members.
“Ten years is a lifetime for any program to survive, but the Clean Up For The Hatchlings event continues to thrive year after year,” Ms Salmond said.
“This achievement is one to be celebrated – it is a testament to the ongoing passion and dedication of the wider Sunshine Coast community to look after our coast and wildlife above and below the surface of the water.
“The event started with a conversation about how to best tackle the ongoing issue of marine debris in the region, some friends and a clean-up bag.
“Over time, it has grown to be an annual event the community looks forward to, with a focus on connection to our coastal home, participating in cleaning it up and understanding how we all have a role to play.
“I am truly looking forward to celebrating with everyone on February 3, for what is shaping up to be the best event yet!”
How you can help the turtles
Volunteers can register now to pick up litter at various beach locations between Noosa and Caloundra from 6am to 7.30am.
From 8am, participants are invited to Coopers Lookout Park, south of the Kawana Surf Club, to enjoy a free barbecue, participate in a prize draw, take part in other fun activities and, most importantly, to weigh and sort the collected debris.
The event will be single-use plastic-free, so make sure you bring a reusable water bottle, coffee cup, gloves, enclosed footwear, and sun protection.
Sunshine Coast Environment and Liveability Portfolio Councillor Peter Cox said that while every day is a possible beach clean-up opportunity, he was delighted to see our community coming together to help protect these threatened species every year.
“We are a turtle-friendly community on the Sunshine Coast, and this is our chance to make a difference to our threatened turtle hatchlings,” Cr Cox said.
“We’ve had 24 turtle nests laid so far this nesting season.
“Cleaning up the beaches will give these little hatchlings the best start in life.”
Event schedule for the day:
- 6am – 7.30am – meet at your chosen beach to clean it up. Registrations essential by searching ‘clean up for the hatchlings’ at events.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au
- 8am – 11am – thank-you event at Coopers Lookout Park, Pacific Blvd, Buddina, which includes:
- Free barbeque for clean up participants
- Kids’ activities corner
- Educational stalls
- Presentations and talks
- Free raffle with turtley awesome prizes.
Clean up locations and beach access (BA) points include:
- Coolum (meet at BA 72)
- Point Arkwright (meet at BA 85)
- Marcoola (BA 104)
- North Shore (meet at the hut in park at end of North Shore Rd, Twin Waters)
- Cotton Tree Park (meet at the corner of Second Ave and the Esplanade)
- Mooloolaba beach (meet at SeaLife)
- Buddina (meet at BA201 – beachside of Pacific Blvd)
- Coopers Lookout park (meet at BA 224)
- Warana 1 (meet at BA 232 – John Hotton Park)
- Warana 2 (meet at BA 237 – Neisler Park)
- Bokarina (meet at BA 241, Satinbird Park)
- Wurtulla (meet at BA248, Dorothy Anderson Park)
- Currimundi (meet at the end of Buderim St)
- Dicky Beach (meet at the park at BA 267)
- Moffat Beach (meet in Eleanor Shipley Park)
- Shelly Beach (meet at Victoria Terrace car park)
- Bribie Island – Happy Valley car park west end.
There will also be a chance to score a prize for volunteering including vouchers for SeaLife and Saltwater Ecotours.
To register for your local Clean Up for the Hatchlings, visit events.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au and search ‘hatchlings’.