Every minute, one truckload of garbage enters the ocean, and by 2050, there will be more plastic in the sea than fish.
For many, this will paint an unexpected picture when compared to Australia’s more iconic images of azure waters, exotic plants and amazing wildlife. While these images are easily found via a Google search, or frequently displayed as your laptop screensaver, the reality is not so postcard-perfect.
Despite the size of Australia’s ocean-scape, the vast volumes of garbage entering the seas and waterways far outweigh the pace in which it is being removed. Some litter, like plastics, take years to decompose or sadly, remain there permanently.
Toxic chemicals from this litter accumulates within the waterways and food chains, posing serious risks to nature and to Australian communities.
“2020 has been a year of many things, and while other ecosystems may have benefitted from reduced carbon-emitting activities, our oceans are still being filled with waste at a phenomenal speed, and we need to act together, quickly,” explains Renae Riveire, campaign director at Conservation Volunteers Australia.
Since September, Conservation Volunteers Australia have removed 1,686kgs of litter across six states’ waterways. This includes 45,978 individual items collected by a total 934 participants across 127 events, but they still have a long way to go.
#SeaToSource is a national project backed by the Australian Government that tackles ocean litter in our seas, through beach clean-ups like this, and all the way back to the source.
“The #SeaToSource Day of Action is their biggest day of the year,” says Renae.
“For us it’s not just about cleaning up litter on the beach, it’s about addressing where that litter is coming from and protecting the wildlife in the ocean. It is also about empowering communities to feel connected through a love of the world around them and feeling inspired to make small daily actions to protect it.”
Although powered by Conservation Volunteers Australia, the #SeaToSource events will take place on National Day of Action – 11th April 2021 – a project supported by a three year, $5 million grant under the Australian Government’s Environment Restoration Fund program.
“We are are calling on community champions, environmental advocates or even those looking for something different and rewarding to do on their weekend, to sign up to one of 11 national #SeaToSource events. For us it’s not just about cleaning up litter on the beach, it’s about addressing the source of that litter and protecting the marine wildlife,” says Renae.
#SeaToSource events focus their efforts on tackling litter at its source to protect animals living on the Great Southern Reef, which stretches from Western Australia to Queensland, and around Tasmania, where the 14 events will be held in select locations.
To register to take part in a #SeaToSource Day of Action near you, link the link below. conservationvolunteers.com.au/seatosource