The past 12 months were successful and productive. As a group, Marine-care made a positive difference to our community and environment. We have also received support and recognition from local and state politicians and have been mentioned in various media articles.
Winning the 2011 Queensland Pride of Australia Medal (environment category) was an honour, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the individuals who supported my environmental work. I would especially like to thank Jennifer Singfield, Jennifer Miller, Mark Robinson, Baz Bardoe, Nicky Meinhardt-Jensen and Boyd Essex.
Setting up the Marine-Care group and organising clean-up days allowed volunteers to engage in hands-on activities. Volunteers should be congratulated for their dedication, hard work and cheery attitude.
Marine-Care volunteers participated in:
- A series of clean-up days in Redland City after the January floods
- Seagrass and marine life monitoring events
- Educational talks at local schools
- Litter removal from foreshores in Redland City
- Assisted with a biodiversity forum in Cleveland
- Helped create a marine database.
- Seagrass meadows in Redland City have improved since the January floods and volunteers have noticed an increased in dugong and turtle trails at Ormiston in the Redlands.
- Removal of abandoned fishing lines has resulted in a decrease in dead seabirds at various sites.
- Embarking on an education program and creating an online marine reference guide has increased public awareness and assisted students and community groups. Website: www.diannehausler.com
- Removal of litter from wetlands, creeks and foreshores has improved the health of local waterways.
The number of volunteers at any given time fluctuates depending on weather conditions, tide times and media advertising. A series of Clean-up events, that was given front page coverage in the Redland Times, attracted a mass of interest from the general public.
In order to participate in clean-up and Marine-care events, volunteers must wear appropriate footwear and clothing and agree to follow strict health and safety rules.
The next twelve months should see additional forums and clean-up days, monitoring of new and existing sites, and the continuation of the marine-database. Additionally, volunteers will be encouraged to complete a First Aid course.
Collected data will be offered to schools, universities and government departments, and I hope that Marine-Care can work together with other organisations. One organisation can make a positive difference, but together we can achieve so much more.
Finally, a big thank-you to all my wonderful volunteers. You guys are fantastic!!!