More than one million marine animals die every single year from entanglement or ingestion of marine debris.
To help combat this, Sunshine Coast Council through its volunteer TurtleCare program, ReefCheck Australia and SEALIFE Mooloolaba are calling on residents to give local turtle hatchlings the best chance of survival by joining a massive beach-to-sea clean-up event on Saturday, February 6.
There are several clean-up locations across the Coast from Caloundra to Mooloolaba. Sign on is at 6.15am at each location and the free BBQ breakfast starts at 8am at the marine debris weigh in station at La Balsa Park in Buddina. As a bonus, attendees will have the chance to win some "turtley" amazing prizes.
Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said loggerhead turtles were an endangered species and council was committed to protecting and enhancing their habitat but needed help from the community. "Litter on beaches and in waterways can be fatal to all marine life.
Sea turtle hatchlings are pelagic for the first year of their life and feed of the surface of the ocean-they often mistake small floating plastics for food, with devastating effects," Cr McKay said. "We are urging residents to take rubbish home, be mindful of fishing line and bait bags and to even go one step further and pick up litter if they see it.
"At last year's clean-up event, around 300 residents joined the clean-up and collected over 330kg of rubbish. "This year, we'd love more people to take part and raise awareness about the issues caused by marine debris. "We've had just one of our endangered loggerhead turtle nests emerge already this season and we're expecting several more over January and February.
There are around 60 nests incubating on beaches across the Coast right now."
Residents can register their attendance online at http://bit.ly/1OO3ge8 where they can select a clean-up location.
Attendees are reminded to wear sun safe clothing and to bring a chair and plenty of water.