Cleaning up our islands

LIBBY Edge is on a mission to clean up the Whitsundays, one island at a time. The Shute Harbour resident says she is sick of the sight of rubbish being washed up on the islands of the Whitsundays and has launched a series of clean up trips as part of an Island Task Force, whose mission it is to clean up the region's natural assets.

The trips involve Libby taking a group of volunteers on her Eco Barge Services' barge for a day-long clean up of the islands. Anyone can volunteer and morning tea and lunch is supplied.

The first trip, which was held last Friday around Double Cone and Long Islands, netted a huge haul of rubbish including tyres, gas bottles, rope, chains, chairs and loads of plastic. Libby's aim is to run two trips per week, however with each trip costing around $1250 she needs sponsorship in order to reach her goal.

"With two trips a week we can stay on top of the marine debris because it is never ending," Libby said.

Libby has already received some funding through Reef Catchments for three more trips and has also had plenty of interest from volunteers. However she is always looking for more.

"It’s a free trip to the islands and you get to do something great for the local environment," Libby said.

"If a company wants to sponsor a trip they get the barge for the day and can use it as a team building day or something similar."

Libby has always had a passion for the environment but her desire for cleaning up marine debris was ignited after she saw a story on 60 minutes about debris around the Islands of Hawaii.

"I was shocked, I couldn’t believe what I saw," she said.

"Then I went out to the Whitsunday Islands with my family and saw it was a problem here also.

"I couldn’t believe how bad it was and I thought something has to happen."

Libby said with the support of the people of the Whitsundays the rubbish problem can be solved.

"This is a problem that we can fix as a community," she said. "Let’s be proud of our Islands."

For more information about Eco Barge Services or the Island Task Force including sponsorship and volunteer enquiries contact Libby Edge on 0417 642 815.


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