Unveiling the 2020 Stewardship Report – Above and Beyond.
On the 3rd of December 2020, the Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership officially unveiled the 2020 Stewardship Report – Above and Beyond at the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens.
The launch event saw fifty representatives from across conservation, agriculture, tourism, ports, mining, Traditional Owners groups, and local, Queensland and Federal Government gather to acknowledge the sustainability initiatives enacted in the Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday region.
Kevin Kane Director of Environment at Queensland Bulk Ports reflected on this coming together.
“Today, six years on from when we first started the partnership, we have a whole group of passionate people that are doing some amazing things. At the launch we saw this all brought together in a Stewardship Report. Which demonstrates that there are so many people in this region that are going above and beyond.”
Pictured: Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership members and special guests hold the 2020 Stewardship Report – Above and Beyond in celebration at the official launch near the Eulamere lagoon at the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens.
Twenty stories celebrate the “good news” for local waterways.
Now in its second year, the 2020 edition, showcases twenty unique stories of organisations and individuals who have gone ” Above and Beyond” to improve our environment and importantly, our community’s waterway health. With the 2020 focus on preventing plastics from entering our waterways.
Julie Boyd, Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership Chairperson, kicked off the launch by reflecting on the purpose of the Stewardship Report.
“In recognising that the Report Card demonstrates results and technical data, the Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership identified that there was an opportunity to showcase all types of activities that aim to improve these scores.”
Katrina Dent, Reef Catchments CEO, commented on the importance of celebrating the good news stories.
“Too often the stories of our waterways – rivers and the Reef can be cast in a negative light. The Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership want to flip this on its head. The Stewardship Report is a celebration of the good news. As a community and collective we should be proud of this work.”
Sharing learnings from those preventing plastics from entering our waterways.
Guest speakers on the day included Libby Edge, founding Chair of Eco Barge Clean Seas, who shared the organisations story of how local volunteers have removed 12,748kg of marine debris from the shores of the Whitsunday Islands in the last year, preventing these plastics for entering our local waterways. Libby spoke to her experience of joining the partnership and her passion of marine debris statistics to reported in the annual waterway health report card. This style of reporting will kick off in the next report card released in July 2021.
Pictured: Libby Edge, founding Chair of Eco Barge Clean Seas shares her story of tackling marine debris in The Whitsundays.
Daniel Wagner, the Manager of Liveability and Sustainability at Isaac Regional Council, spoke about the 1 million pieces of repurposed recycled plastic that had been used for fences and bollards in the upgrade of the popular Carmila Beach Campground. As part of a larger masterplan to protect the natural environment surrounding the popular holiday destination – 4,371 kg of plastics were diverting from entering landfill in the reconstruction works.
Pictured: Daniel Wagner, the Manager of Liveability and Sustainability at Isaac Regional Council on repurposing plastics in the upgrade of public infrastructure.
Ricci Churchill, the Manager Safety, Risk and Environment at Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal, expressed the importance of turning data and information into proactive decision making and responses.
“Above and Beyond showcases that we are doing more than just collecting data and information and putting it into a report. Partners are taking real action based on data collected.”
Commissioned marine debris sculpture to “swim” across the region.
Pictured: Unveiling of “Joe the Parrotfish” a commissioned artwork by local Marine Debris Sculpture David Day with guest speakers from the day. From left to right Daniel Wagner – Isaac Regional Council, Libby Edge Eco Barge Clean Seas, Julie Boyd – Healthy Rivers To Reef Partnership, Uncle George Tonga – Yuwibara Elder + TORG and Bonny Stutsel Healthy Rivers To Reef Partnership
And this ethos of direct action has flowed into the plastic free event itself. Alongside the 2020 Stewardship Report – Above and Beyond, the partnership also launched a commissioned art piece by local marine debris sculptor David Day – Dayziart.
The art piece titled “Joe the Parrotfish” was inspired by the important role that parrotfish species play in ensuring a healthy reef ecosystem being the “cleaners of the sea”. 25kg of marine debris, was collected from the beaches in the Whitsundays, Mackay and the wider Great Barrier Reef region in QLD Australia to make this art piece.
60 thongs, 12 toothbrushes, 31 lighters, 8 combs, 6 bullet cases and several bottle lids, fishing floats, lures, toys and other plastic wastes have been repurposed to create this beautiful artwork.
“When people look at this artwork, I hope they see the types of marine debris that is constantly collected from the beach foreshore and reflect on how they recycle their waste, and make sure that they take home what they take to the beach,” artist David Day said.
Pictured: Up close and personal with “Joe the Parrotfish.” Here you can see everyday items that have been collected from local beaches.
The art piece will be on display at the Lagoons Café in the Mackay Regional Botanical Gardens until the new year, at which point it will “swim” to a number of Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership locations across the region.
The hope of this artwork, like Above and Beyond, is to spur conversation and learning.
“I hope readers are surprised and learn something new – whether it is about an individual project that they didn’t know was happening locally or perhaps more about the broad spectrum of partners that contribute to the Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership,” Katrina said.
Ricci added; “People might read something that sparks interest and want to join or volunteer to help out… Others may learn that there are different ways to do things… Things that they can do themselves at home or in their workplace to help improve our waterway health.”
Interested to learn more? Download your copy now.
To learn more, view the interactive 2020 Stewardship Report – Above and Beyond online. Download your copy here.