CVA Updates

Removing pollution from Australia’s beaches and waterways piece by piece

#SeaToSource National Day of Action 2023 in Numbers: 


434 participants attended 

48 stakeholder groups involved 

232 kg of litter removed 

10,899 pieces of litter counted (59% of these being plastic!)   


Earlier this month, across 8 major cities, droves of passionate volunteers descended upon their local beaches and rivers to mark our third annual #SeaToSource National Day of Action.  

The event is a true highlight in our #SeaToSource calendar, providing avid ocean lovers (and their land-loving friends) a chance to join our teams for a day of celebration, collaboration, and collective action for our oceans. Jokingly referred to sometimes as our ‘LitterPalooza’, the National Day of Action supports a growing movement of people who want to be part of the solution to ocean litter, not the pollution.  

This year, we were joined by a diverse and inspirational bunch of organisations, each providing a unique activity on the day. As just a taster of the activities we had on offer across our 8 events, we hosted: deep ocean virtual diving sessions using VR headsets, watched plastic lids being shredded and transformed into new items such as bowls and cutting boards, kids and curious grown-ups marvelled at marine creature touch tanks, and made kokedamas (or a fancy way to hang ornamental plants) using upcycled materials… and that’s just for starters! 

The day was an outstanding success, but we couldn’t have achieved it without the help of our 48 amazing project partners, volunteers and staff on-ground… so a heartfelt thank you to all involved! 

If you didn’t get a chance to attend the festivities this year, read on for a summary of each event across our 8 locations. 



Mackay’s National Day of Action was held later in the afternoon as we looked to beat the warm Central Queensland heat, which picks up in the middle of the day. Locals and staff from the local BMA office gathered at Bucasia Beach on a balmy Sunday afternoon to get stuck into a community beach clean up, where we removed an impressive 67 kg of litter from the beach and surrounding parkland areas (which included a whole bed frame!). 

Feeling satisfied that the beach was now much cleaner than when we had started, attendees were then given the chance to participate in a range of activities focused around sustainability and highlighting our amazing waterways, including presentations from Mackay Turtle Watch about their work on turtle monitoring and nesting, Mackay Regional Council Waste Management with a recycling workshop and Pioneer Landcare providing information about the impact of marine debris within our local waterways and running a source reduction workshop, where they challenged participants to embrace using sustainable substitutes for common utensils.

Reef Catchments was also on board for the day, educating attendees about their Gross Pollutant Trap monitoring and their work on stopping ocean litter from further up the catchment (like our cities, towns and roads.) People left feeling more informed about the issue of marine plastics and felt inspired to do more to help. In fact, some new volunteers even pledged to come along to our monthly clean-up sessions. We’re looking forward to seeing them out again soon. 

Thanks also to Healthy Clean and Green, we also had loads of sustainable gear to give away, including Who Gives a Crap toilet paper and bamboo reusable cups. The support of Healthy Clean and Green was incredibly humbling, and our volunteers were over the moon with the free but sustainable swag! 

Thank you to BMA for their continued support of our #SeaToSource project in Mackay, to our project partners and our wonderful volunteers. These events are so important to looking after our magnificent beaches and allowing locals to connect with one another to achieve great things!  



The Brisbane #SeaToSource National Day of Action was a great success. With volunteers from all over Brisbane and its surrounds coming together to achieve some great results for our beaches, oceans and the creatures that live in them. 

Volunteers were first treated to an amazing Welcome To Country and traditional songs by Turrbal’s Song woman Maroochy. Following this, volunteers geared up and headed out into Whale Park and Pandanus Beach for our clean-up session.  

Over 1 ½ hours 25 volunteers collected 1784 pieces of litter, amounting to 5.4kg of rubbish removed! Of this, 39% of it was plastics of some sort, with cigarette butts taking the win for most collected, with 665 butts now off the beach. 

Volunteers and passers-by were also treated to some great informational stalls and displays on the day. Amazing stalls by Sea Shepherd, Coral Watch, Humpbacks and High-Rises, Boomerang Bags, Repair Cafe, Bayside Clean Up Crew and Smyle Designs made sure there was something for everyone on the day. Wild Rangers, Ocean Life Education and Murri Tukka all had interesting interactive displays, such as bush tucker tastings and ocean touch tanks, giving attendees the chance to get up close and personal with some of our amazing land and sea creatures and plants! For the kids, we had our Reverse Garbage Queensland Eco art workshop, with some amazing sea creatures being made from all sorts of recycled materials! 



Over 100 people flocked to Cann Park to take part in the day. We started off with a Welcome to Country by Ron Tinbury, reminding us of the history of where we stood and how we can continue to care for the land. A stream of hi-vis vests made their way down to the beautiful Congwong Beach, where volunteers were busy cleaning up litter but also surveying the items along the way.

At first, regular beachgoers were bewildered to see a flashmob of hi-vis volunteers descend upon the beach, but many of them stopped to ask questions and speak to our volunteers about the issue of plastic pollution on our beaches, all from the comfort of their towels and big beach umbrellas. Volunteers were surprised at just how many small pieces of plastic there were once you started to look for them.  

Afterwards, volunteers browsed stalls learning about inter-tidal creatures with Diver Dave, how Defy Design can turn old shampoo bottles into a chopping board and even getting their face painting with eco-friendly paints from Little Feet Events. A group of participants took part in the Trash to Treasure jewellery-making workshop where they learnt how we can turn sea glass and washed-up plastic litter into beautiful pieces of jewellery with Trash Fish Recycled.  

It was a beautiful summer’s day, with many people visiting the beach and stopping by the stalls to learn about all things sustainability and oceans! Local councillor Bill Burst said he ‘Loved the enthusiasm of everyone involved’ in the event. 



On February 18, we organized an incredible beach clean-up event at Middle Brighton Beach that was truly a day to remember! We started the day with an inspiring Welcome by Boonwurrung’s David Tournier, who connected everyone to Country and set the tone for a day of community, education, and action. 

With the help of our amazing partners, including Neil Blake, the Bay Keeper for Port Phillip Bay’s EcoCentre, Emma Grace, and Southern Ocean Environmental Link (SOEL), we offered a range of engaging activities that made the day even more exciting!  

  • Volunteers participated in a microplastic survey and educational session, where they learned about the larger issue of microplastic pollution and its impact on the environment.  
  • Emma Grace provided a wonderful craft experience, creating Kokedamas, and sustainable woven hanging baskets with a plant of your choice.  
  • Southern Ocean Environmental Link (SOEL) wowed us with a dazzling plastic upcycling workshop, melting down recycled bottle caps from the Lids4Kids program to create colourful gifts for our volunteers to take home. 

Our incredible team of 39 volunteers worked enthusiastically throughout the day, collecting 50kg of trash and microplastics from the beach and surrounding areas. We were blown away by the amount of rubbish we were able to remove – a whopping total of 2,818 pieces! 

Thanks to the hard work of our volunteers and the support of our partners, we were able to make a significant impact on the cleanliness of the beach and raise awareness about the importance of protecting our oceans and beaches. We left the beach cleaner than we found it, and we hope to inspire others to do the same. We can’t wait to organize more events like this in the future and encourage everyone to join us in keeping our environment clean and healthy. 

A massive thank you to all the volunteers who participated in this incredible event and to all our partners who supported us along the way. We can’t wait to see what we can achieve together next time! 



There were blue skies for the first NDoA in Launceston and a beautiful day with the coming together of conservation organisations; Tamar NRM, Tamar Estuary and Esk River Program (TEER) and Tasmanians for Marine Parks alongside The Redress Hub and Interweave Arts that both promote the circular economy and how things that we might discard can be repurposed and recycled into something fabulous. 

The clean-up also included a bingo with different goals, such as sharing a waste reduction tip with each other and finding microplastics, and surprisingly one of the bingo requirements to collect 15 cigarette butts wasn’t able to be achieved at the site – it was just so clean!  

People really enjoyed learning more about the particular sea life that we are protecting  in the Kanamaluka/Tamar Estuary at the Tasmanians for Marine Parks stall and having the hands on experience of holding and touching the shells. Whilst at the TEER stall holding a shark egg and being able to look through the microscope at all the tiny life forms within our waters that we often don’t think about, which was described as ”a window into another world”. 

The Remade Parade was such a positive example of bringing play and creativity into what can sometimes seem like an uphill challenge when it comes to the amount of waste created day to day, along with a dress-up box of spare outfits and shakers for anyone that wanted to join in. Led by musicians, they bopped, shook maracas, showed off their individual creations, and smiled their way around Riverbend Park, collecting up people as they went. One amazing silver outfit that looked like a knight’s armour with Madonna cones was actually made out of hundreds of aluminium blister packets from medication that the artist had taken whilst recovering from a spinal injury. 

One comment that really stood out to me was from a volunteer that said, “there’s something really special about knowing that this day is happening all over Australia at the same time and the number of people that are together right now for the same thing.” 



The NDoA in Hobart was a wonderful event with inspiring stakeholders. We were supported throughout the event by volunteers who joined us from the Australian International Youth Association, who did an amazing job at keeping the day on track. They also ran the CVA stall, which had quite a few people stopping by to take an interest and sign up for our mailing list. We were also joined by BirdLife Tasmania and Sea Shepherd, who ran their own stalls and had a lot of interest, especially from kids.  

We kicked off our event with a Smoking Ceremony and Welcome to Country, which was a moving and inspiring experience for our volunteers. The beach was a beautiful and meaningful setting for the smoking ceremony, and our wonderful Traditional Owner Danny and his son have an amazing way of including everyone and genuinely thank them for all the effort they put into looking after Country. Lots of volunteers had questions for Danny and had the chance to socialise with him, which is great.  

We had a great guest speaker session afterwards, held by Lillian from Adrift Lab. She did a fantastic job at engaging everyone, talking about her research, and creating a positive vibe, making us feel that we can truly be part of the solution. She motivated us to get stuck in and start our beach clean-up, which showed us that even a clean-looking beach has lots of small litter items that need to be disposed of. One of our more curious finds was a reflective shoulder marker – the reflective bumps you find on roads! 

During the beach clean-up, Bridget Jupe from Kingborough Council created some amazing stormwater stencils with volunteers, which are lovely to look at and make passers-by think! I think it’s so powerful for volunteers to create something that’s so permanent and that they can identify with when they walk past. 

After a fantastic lunch and ice cream, we had Alejandra from Beat Latina show us how to connect with waterways through dance – with some upbeat music, salsa and samba elements! Even though the weather started playing up at this point, it’s impossible not to smile and be happy when Alejandra shows us groovy moves! 


A beautiful summer’s day at Hallett Cove was the perfect setting for South Australia’s NDoA, where around 70 keen volunteers got their hands dirty and gave the beach a thorough clean. After the clean-up, volunteers and the Hallett Cove community had the opportunity to interact with our stallholders through VR diving with sea lions and other marine life and displays to learn all about the Great Southern Reef and why it’s so important that we protect the reef from the impacts of ocean litter.     

Overall, there were plenty of smiles throughout the event (especially during giveaways), and to top it off, our friends at the Marine Discovery Centre found a rare Blue-ringed Octopus moving about the rock pools. 



Leighton Beach proved to be a stunning location for our National Day of Action. We eased into the day with a yoga session led by the wonderful Rachel from Mala Yoga, which got our bodies warmed up and ready for a beach clean-up blitz.  

Traditional owner and Elder-in-residence Marie Taylor, officially opened the event with a Welcome to Country, and then over 30 volunteers joined us for our clean-up activity. In an hour, the volunteers’ team managed to remove 55kg of litter from the beach and dunes, which contained over 2000 individual pieces of litter! 

The major highlight of the day was seeing the volunteers connect with one another throughout the event, with multiple volunteers mentioning how the social connection made the entire day. 

A sincere thank you to Protect Ningaloo and the City of Fremantle for partnering with us, and a heartfelt thank you to each and every volunteer for participating in this special event! 

Proudly supported by our partners

Australian Government