Help clean up the beach
BEACHGOERS are being urged to help clean up the once pristine Cooloola coastline after big seas left debris including logs, sticks and plastic rubbish on the beach.
More than a dozen utility vehicle trays were filled with rubbish during a two-day clean up at Double Island Point last week.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers from Rainbow Beach and Tewantin teamed up to remove the rubbish, which hit Teewah Beach in large volumes throughout last month.
Rainbow Beach QPWS ranger Richard Whitney said the debris was brought in by a series of heavy swells.
"It left the corner up at Double Island Point covered in bits of plastic," he said.
"It's a scary reminder that this stuff is floating around out in our oceans, posing a deadly threat to marine life and making a terrible mess of our beaches when it comes ashore.
"Local rangers are always on the lookout for rubbish in the Cooloola Recreation Area and we try to remove as much as possible, given other work demands and the vehicle space needed to carry it out."
Mr Whitney said rubbish that could be a hazard to people and wildlife was a priority.
"Obviously we can't get to every bit of rubbish so we really appreciate the help of those visitors and local community residents who actively get involved and make the effort to get unsightly rubbish to a bin," he said.
"Even if it's not your rubbish every little bit helps and we try to make it easier to dispose of with bulk rubbish bins provided at intervals in the major camping areas across the recreation area.
"Pick it up, pack it away or put it in a bin - that could be enough to save a marine animal's life."
To get involved in dedicated rubbish clean-ups in the Cooloola Recreation Area as a volunteer, phone the Rainbow Beach QPWS information centre on 5486 9900 (8am-4pm daily).
Worldwide, about eight million items of litter enter the marine environment every day.
An estimated 70% of marine litter ends up on the seabed, 15% on beaches, the rest floats around.
An estimated 80% of marine debris is from land-based sources and 20% is sea-based.
Plastic bags on the ocean floor take 10-20 years to decompose.