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Conservation Programs and Initiatives
Clean Up Australia Day is Australia’s largest community-based environmental event held annually during the first week of March. The event encourages schools, businesses and the community to get involved to remove litter from local parks, roadsides, creeks and beaches.
Gladstone Regional Council supports the community during Clean Up Australia Day by arranging skip bins, clean up materials and supporting sites during their clean-ups.
National Tree Day and Schools Tree Day are annual, national events where the community comes together to get their hands dirty planting trees and restoring native vegetation in local areas. The events are held each year during the last week in July.
Gladstone Regional Council supports National Tree Day and Schools Tree Day by facilitating tree planting events throughout the region in conjunction with local businesses and community groups.
Friends of Conservation is a volunteer program facilitated by Gladstone Regional Council. Volunteers primarily work alongside staff to propagate and care for native plants at Council’s Tannum Sands Nursery. Friends of Conservation also participate in other activities and events throughout the region to help conserve the natural environment.
Volunteers meet every Monday from 7:30am to 10:30am at Council’s Tannum Sands Nursery. Come every week or only when you can.
For more information or to apply to become a volunteer, contact (07) 4971 4444 or visit Gladstone Volunteering.
The Reef Guardian Council program showcases environmentally sustainable practices undertaken by councils in the Great Barrier Reef catchment.
Gladstone Regional Council is one of 18 councils between Bundaberg and Cooktown working together to protect and conserve the Marine Park through activities that improve the health and resilience of the Reef.
Gladstone Regional Council is currently undertaking the Litter Education and Awareness Program (LEAP), run in collaboration with participating Reef Guardian Schools, Cleanwater Group and Tangaroa Blue.
What is LEAP?
The LEAP project involves installing litter capture devices within and surrounding participating Reef Guardian schools, analysing the contents captured over a 12-month period and educating students about stormwater pollution and ways to prevent it.
Students involved are given the opportunity to learn first-hand what pollutants are entering the drains around their school, and further discuss litter reduction and stormwater management.
Data collected from the LEAP program will be uploaded to the Australian Marine Debris Database, making it available for researchers and litter reduction organisations.
Why is LEAP being undertaken?
The Litter Education & Awareness Project (LEAP) has been developed in response to an alleged contravention of the Environment Protection Act 1994, relating to extraction of material above that of Council’s prescribed licensing, across some Council managed pits.
Upon discovery, Gladstone Regional Council notified the Department of Environment and Science (DES). Following a formal investigation, an Enforceable Undertaking was entered by Council and the Department, through which the Council committed to undertake the LEAP project.
How is the litter captured?
The majority of litter capture devices installed are called a ‘Drain Buddy’, designed by Cleanwater Group.
A drain buddy is a reinforced mesh basket that sits within a storm drain and catches debris and pollutants that enter that drain. Drain buddies are installed with an ‘overflow’ to avoid causing flooding if the basket becomes too full with matter.
Due to the varied nature of storm drains within school grounds, some schools have different types of litter capture devices installed, such as solid mesh ‘trays’ that sit within shallow drains. These variations work on a similar principle, straining the pollutants and debris from stormwater.
Ten schools across Gladstone, Agnes Water and Boyne Tannum are participating in the 12-month LEAP Program, which provides opportunities for students to learn firsthand about stormwater litter of the reef, environmental conservation, and litter source reduction. The LEAP project aims to improve awareness of stormwater pollution, and ways we can all manage this issue.
- Toolooa State High School
- Chanel College
- Kin Kora State School
- Clinton State School
- Gladstone State High School
- Gladstone West State School
- St John’s Catholic Primary School
- Boyne Island State School
- Tannum Sands State School
- Agnes Water State School
What is upcoming?
22 – 26 November 2021: In collaboration with Tangaroa Blue and Cleanwater Group, Council undertook its first ‘education and sorting events’ with schools participating in the LEAP project. Eight of the ten* involved schools had litter from their drain buddies brought to the classroom, and students were able to learn first-hand of what pollutants were captured for the first five months that the traps were active. Litter sorted from the material was separated to categories from the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI), and uploaded to the AMDI database.
Now emptied of material, the LEAP project drain buddies remain active in field, capturing litter and material ready for their next scheduled service – estimated to occur in late January 2022.
*two schools have rescheduled their sorting events to the new year.
What has been completed so far?
In May 2021, 28 litter capture devices were installed by Cleanwater Group to collect debris and macro-plastics that enter the stormwater infrastructure. During installations, some schools elected for students to be present during the installation, allowing students to see exactly how the device is installed and learn how it works.
Gladstone Regional Council manages various reserves and natural areas throughout the Gladstone region. Council supports various community groups and organisations to undertake conservation projects that help protect and enhance the values of these natural areas. Support may include, in-kind provision of native plants, materials and staff assistance.
For more information, or to collaborate with Council, contact the Environment & Conservation team on (07) 4970 0700.
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Gladstone Regional Council
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(07) 4970 0700
8.30am - 5pm Monday to Friday
PO Box 29
Gladstone Qld 4680
Gladstone Regional Council would like to acknowledge the Byellee, Gooreng Gooreng, Gurang and Taribelang Bunda people who are the traditional custodians of this land. Gladstone Regional Council would also like to pay respect to Elders both past, present and emerging, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Learn more about Council's Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).