Volunteers sought to clean waterways

A flood of volunteers is needed to help blitz the nation’s world-famous riverbanks, bays, and beaches of waste to guarantee a speedy environmental and economic recovery, according to leading national nature body Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA)

Launching CVA’s annual #SeaToSource marine plastic volunteering drive, CEO Phil Harrison said special focus would be placed on flood recovery in impacted catchments from southeast Queensland down to Sydney to reduce waste flowing out into the Great Southern Reef.  

Mr Harrison also announced CVA’s joint-Federal Government natural disaster volunteer portal would be stood up to assist local communities and environment groups with broader nature and wildlife habitat recovery and resilience across flood-impacted regions over the coming months. 

However, Mr Harrison said marine plastic was a major problem for wildlife, human and tourism health Australia-wide, flooding or not, and encouraged all Australians to visit the CVA website to sign up, or go straight to conservationvolunteers.com.au/preparing-for-flood-recovery/.

He said it was also important to ensure Australia was “dressed for success” to support its global reopening.

“Over 12,000 Australians signed up to help nature recover post the 2019-20 Black Summer Bushfires and we would love to see a similar flood of support,” Mr Harrison said.

“There’s no doubt the floods have had a devastating impact on both our waterways and the wildlife depending on them and couldn’t have come at a worse time for tourism operators already reeling from the pandemic.

Australia ranks number one in the world for its coastal, nature and wildlife tourism and, with global borders reopening after two years, it is doubly critical for environmental and economic recovery we all lend a hand where we can.