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Things keep going forward nicely for Ocean Crusaders, and 2019 is shaping up as an even bigger year again. 

Things really kicked off when we joined forces with Cleanwater Group in our Yarra River Blitz (Melbourne in April).  With a vacuum system on board our new vessel Salter, we managed to remove 5.2 tonne of debris from the Yarra in just five days and followed this up with 225 paddlers on the Sunday removing another 467kg.  We even featured on ABC's War on Waste and that publicity has taken us to a new level. 

Shortly after our visit to Melbourne we visited Fraser Island with 4WD QLD.  900 volunteers removed nearly 7 tonnes of debris in just six hours.  Our debris sort gave us an amazing insight as to what it is that washes up on the beach there and that data is being used by the local council to develop plans to stop it.  The 2019 dates are locked away but you need to be a member of a 4x4 club to participate.  We are contemplating a second clean up in October for the general public, but that's a long way off right now. 

Back on the Sunshine Coast and our waterway cleaning team continues to remove debris each week.  The data we collect has enable the council to overlay their storm water map and work out where they can install collection devices at street level to stop it.  Let's hope it starts to stop soon as it really isn't changing a great deal at present. 

Back in Brisbane and finally we are getting traction.  We have been granted funds to install a world first 'Cleaning Station System' along the foreshore of Wynnum/Manly.  Brisbane City Council have partly funded it and it should be up and running by October.  This will enable walkers to grab a set of tongs, gloves and a bag to clean up on their daily walk.  Hopefully this will lead to a roll out across Australia. 

Our clean ups have also gone next level.  Last year Green Island had 73 volunteers.  This year we capped it at 200 and all spots were taken five weeks before the event.  Weather meant we have postponed till next Sunday, but the island and all of it's debris is still out there waiting.  We're going to need all 200 pairs of hands to play their part to make this island clean and GREEN. 

If you missed out on that event then sign up for St Helena Island Festival.   We are using this event as a fundraiser so there is a small charge to help cover costs and give us some additional funding to keep our boats on the water cleaning.  Not only will we clean the island, we will be putting a band on in the park over lunch and then you can go on a guided tour of the historical buildings.  Usually this trip costs $84 per person so our cost of $20 is minimal.  It will likely also be our last community event of the year with us choosing to sit out the hotter months of summer and give us a little break before a huge 2019.

Speaking of 2019, well stay tuned as we will have major events on Moreton Island, 5 Rocks (Yeppoon), South Stradbroke and even a cruise in Fiji with a difference. We will be running an Ocean Ambassador program through Fijian schools in conjunction with Captain Cook Cruises and there will be a chance for you to join us and watch as we work with the students to educate the villages the cruise visits.  

We will also return to Sweden where we spent July setting up operations to clean up.  We will run further clean ups over there so if you are heading to Europe, a quick visit to the west coast will allow you to join us in cleaning up the archipelago.  It's a magical part of the world and worth a visit.  

I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved with OC over the past 6 months.  It has been a hectic time and without all the amazing support and efforts, we would not be in a position that we find ourselves today.  You know who you are and we look forward to seeing all of you at an event shortly.   
 
Thanks for following and supporting Ocean Crusaders on our mission to keep our waterways, oceans and beaches clean. Don't forget to play your part every day in every way.  

Ian Thomson
Founder
Ocean Crusaders Foundation LTD

Visit Ocean Crusaders if you would like to help out.

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