A contingent of 11 Ocean Rafting staff came together on their day off last Friday, taking one of the vessels from the fleet, “Wild Thing” on an exploratory clean up trip to Thomas Island.
Cleaning two south-easterly facing beaches over a period of four hours, the team collected 25 extra large bags of rubbish, as well as many bigger items including a man-made toilet, large plastic buckets, 20 litre plastic drums, mooring balls and lines, structural boat plastic and large plastic sheets. Bottle caps were a significant problem, as well as toothbrushes, plastic bottles, small white medicine bottles and plenty of micro plastic.
Ocean Rafting Environmental Manager, Sarah Vickery, said, “Sadly, our staff found an incredible amount of rubbish. It really highlights how much plastic is contributing to the pollution of the world’s oceans. It was an amazingly positive task and something really worthwhile, particularly before the rainy season kicks in as much of the rubbish we collected would have been washed back into the ocean.”
Ms Vickery continued, “The team have more beach clean ups planned in the future and the entire Ocean Rafting staff are really keen to be involved, with those who missed able to volunteer next time. It was a massive eye opener for everyone who took part, as even in our beautiful Whitsundays there was so much plastic on the beaches, but the positive side of it is that everyone felt great after the clean up.”
The Ocean Rafting team are passionate about their duty in protecting the future of the Great Barrier Reef, adopting environmentally friendly practices into everyday operations and participating in GBRMPA’s Eye of the Reef program, with crew reporting sightings and conducting monitoring once a week at two different snorkel sites as well as sites less frequently visited. Ocean Rafting is also a proud member of the “Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef” campaign and has also signed up to go plastic straw-free through The Last Straw campaign.
Ocean Rafting holds Advanced Ecotourism Certification, is a Green Travel Leader and a Climate Action Business. As an Advanced Ecotourism Operator, Ocean Rafting has been accepted as a GBRMPA High Standard Tourism Operator and is only one of 10 companies Australia wide who has been have been certified for 20 years or more.
To check out the video the crew made of the day, check out Ocean Rafting’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/oceanrafting and share it around to help remind people to minimise their plastic waste where ever possible. Every little bit helps.