February 2nd saw the always popular annual Clean Up for the Hatchlings event at La Balsa park, which is an important area for turtles, but also very popular with human visitors. And unfortunately where there are large numbers of humans, there is also inevitably going to be rubbish!
This collaborative event is organised by Reef Check Australia, Sea Life Mooloolaba and the Sunshine Coast Council.
Reef Check Australian teams took part in clean ups both in and out of the water, with teams of snorkelling and dive volunteers collecting marine rubbish.
Over 700 volunteers took part in the clean up across the region and over 1.5 tonnes of marine debris was collected. This almost doubles last year's collection of 800kg!
This year, land based volunteers found a lot of foil based confetti, along with zip ties, plastic clasps from bread bags, and dog waste bags.
Meanwhile the dive and snorkel teams picked up lots of bottles and aluminum cans - items which easily be recycled through the new Sunshine Coast container refund scheme, Containers for Change.
Marine debris is a huge threat to turtles young and old, who can end up eating plastics and other items. We can all help the hatchlings every day, simply by reducing our landfill and plastic waste!