29 Jul GLADSTONE, ARE YOU READY FOR YOUR LITTERING HABITS TO BE EXAMINED?
Humans are responsible for 100% of marine debris, and locally, we are about to get a better insight into the waste habits of the Curtis Coast, thanks to a Local Action Community Reef Protection grant. The grant has helped to fund the installation of nine Drain Buddies at key locations throughout Gladstone recently.
Fitzroy Basin Association Inc. (FBA) is working in partnership with Cleanwater Group who have installed the systems, the Local Marine Advisory Committee (LMAC), local Reef Guardian councils and the community to oversee the project.
Holly Lambert, FBA’s Community Partnerships Coordinator, says this project demonstrates an upstream solution to a downstream problem. “This project signals the beginning of a better understanding of human behaviour when it comes to waste in our local communities. From this point forward, we can verify the biggest types of litter and begin targeting ways to reduce their presence,” Ms Lambert explained.
The Drain Buddy is a cost-effective innovative and simple solution according to Development Manager Aaron Horsley. He said the system while simple in design has the potential to change the way the Gladstone community examines its litter.
The Drain Buddy system consists of heavy-duty basket that only allows water to pass through, collecting all other matter including litter, organic debris and sediment. Matter that is collected will be emptied quarterly, then sorted, analysed and recorded in the Australian Marine Debris Initiative database. The data collected will provide insight into what the community is throwing away, where it comes from and will lay strong foundations for the subsequent success of local source reduction campaigns in the future.
Karl French, Gladstone Local Marine Advisory Committee Chair, said the project holds the potential to change management of marine debris in our waterways. “Marine debris is one of the five key threats to the health of the Reef, so it’s critical to continue building community mindfulness around waste and consumption habits.”
The project is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and is being delivered by the Fitzroy Basin Association (FBA) with support from the Capricorn Coast and Gladstone Local Marine Advisory Committees.