The Trust for Wild Mob Trust have secured a $12,460 grant from waste and water management company SUEZ for its Marine Debris Audit, aimed at providing practical methods of sorting, itemising and categorising debris.
The funding will be used to help support the expansion of the Youth Ambassadors Program and carry out a public audit of marine debris collected by volunteers working in the Cumberland Islands. The audit will showcase practical methods of sorting, itemising and categorising debris such as plastic and other rubbish items recovered from turtle nesting beaches and coastal habitats.
Data collected from the audit will be uploaded to Tangaroa Blue’s Australian Marine Debris Database, national database dedicated to identifying how debris impacts different sections of the Australian coastline.
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The Youth Ambassadors Program engages and empowers young people in taking direct action to protect critically endangered ecosystems. Each new project sees ambassadors identify an environmental problem in their area and develop a measurable, achievable and sustainable solution to help solve it.
The Youth Ambassadors Program and the marine audit help Wild Mob advocate for change in reducing plastic pollution reaching the ocean.
Wild Mob CEO Dr Derek Ball said that grant meant the organisation could expand the Youth Ambassadors Program and achieve their goal to promote greater awareness of the impact of debris on our marine environments through the Marine Debris Audit.
“Single-use plastic is the biggest culprit, accumulating on islands in the Great Barrier Reef, causing damage to habitats and wildlife populations,” Dr Ball said.
“It’s great to have the community here and to raise awareness about the waste habits of humans and the devastating impact on critically endangered ecosystems, especially in the Great Barrier Reef.”
Wild Mob Youth Ambassador Briody Fahey said that the Youth Ambassadors feel it is extremely important for young people to take responsibility to care for the environment, particularly fragile marine ecosystems in the Great Barrier Reef.
“In doing so, we hope to educate others on the problems our generation is having to address so we can work together with the wider community to create solutions and bring positive change,” she said.
Kevin Condie, Mackay Depot Manager, attended the Marine Debris Audit on 20 January 2019 to present the cheque to Dr Ball.
“SUEZ is committed to working with local communities to preserve the oceans and avoid waste being released into our marine environments,” said Mr Condie.
“Projects such as the Marine Debris Audit are a great opportunity to raise awareness about the impact of waste and debris on our marine ecosystems and the importance of making sure our oceans and animal habitats are not polluted.”
Now in its fifth year, the SUEZ Community Grants program has donated more than $740,000 in funding to community organisations and projects across Australia that help communities and the environment thrive.