Clean Up Australia – under water and on the beaches

Imogen Potts has been involved in Clean Up Australia Day as an ambassador and has joined in local clean ups ever since she was a toddler. Nowadays, she directs her focus underwater by founding Responsible Divers and doing regular clean ups in Gold Coast waterways.

Briody Fahey is one of the founders of Youth 4 Beaches, an environmental organisation that inspires youth to become active environmental citizens and fight for litter-free future.

Both Imogen and Briody have been widely recognised for their inspirational work. And now they’re calling on fellow Gold Coasters to join them for Clean Up Australia Day on Sunday 6 March.

“Gold Coast is known for its beautiful beaches,” Briody said, adding that the consequences of litter reaches much farther than most realise. “Plastic alone is responsible for killing 1 million seabirds and 100,000 sea mammals each year.” Briody

“The problem actually starts when we decide to make a purchase. It is not simply a matter of recycling and disposing responsibly, but of reducing and rethinking our habits in the first place.”

Imogen said that most litter ends up in waterways and presents a real threat to marine life and ecosystems

“In one underwater clean up alone we collected 44 sinkers, 47 swivels, 37 hooks, one torch and 1.6km of fishing line,” Imogen said.

Anna Itkonen is another Gold Coast woman leading the call for locals to register for a clean up site. She’s the event coordinator (as well as an arts writer for Blank GC).

“Last year the Gold Coast community collected approximately 228.8 tonnes of rubbish at 107 registered sites,” Anna said. “This year we are challenging businesses to come on board by getting their employees and teams together and registering their own site.”

To facilitate greater business involvement, a new dedicated business clean up day is being held on Tuesday 1 March. That takes place in addition to the community day on Sunday 6 March as well as a day dedicated to schools on Friday 4 March.

Site registrations for Gold Coast close on Sunday 15 February but volunteer registrations remain open up until Sunday 1 March.

Clean Up Australia Day on the Gold Coast is hosted by City of Gold Coast and coordinated by Gecko – Gold Coast and Hinterland Environment Council. Both the City and Gecko are committed to working towards a litter-free Gold Coast.

Register at cleanupaustraliaday.org.au.

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