Lucy Curno Revive

#SeaToSource: One Year On – Part I

About #SeaToSource

It’s been a year since #SeaToSource launched in eight waterways around Australia – inspiring local communities to take action and protect our creeks, rivers and oceans from litter. The goal was both to reduce litter entering The Great Southern Reef – a series of connected reefs extending around Australia’s coastline – and to collect data along the way to help identify the source of the litter and work with communities to reduce pollution.

Our #SeaToSource teams across the country quarterly monitored and collected litter data from 32 sites within the eight waterways. The 32 monitoring sites were located at the upper, middle, and lower sections of each waterway to represent the entire area.

The quarterly monitoring of each site across the past twelve months allowed our #SeaToSource team to connect with a range of communities and observe changes in the litter across seasons, tidal changes, and weather events. It also provided an insight into the different ways each waterway was used throughout different parts of Australia – some being highly industrial and mostly used by business and commerce, while others were mainly used for community recreation and located near housing. There was also an evident distinction between litter being washed out by storm drains and dropped or discarded by those using the waterways.


Results from a year of people-power

It’s amazing to see the splash and the ripples that people around the country have been making to protect our waterways from ocean litter, in just 12 months!

The following infographic capture just some of the results of communities working together through #SeaToSource:

CVA #SeaToSource Infographic - 1 Year of Data

Want to learn more about what happened across each of the regions #SeaToSource works in?



What’s next for #SeaToSource?

We have plenty planned 2021 and beyond, to keep tackling ocean litter from the sea back to the source. Here’s some of the key initiatives we’ll be adding and amplifying in the coming months.

1) Nature Ambassadors Program

We’re launching an exciting program which will support people across the country to take their understanding of the challenge, and their potential to lead the change in their community to the next level. This will be backed by beach clean up and river monitoring data gathered over the past year to help increase efforts to reduce the source of the problem.

Working alongside our #SeaToSource team they will develop new initiatives to make real, tangible changes in their communities to stop litter pollution, and educate and inspire their community’s relationship with local waterways.

2) Tackling plastics

Our data showed that our team collected nearly 7,300kg of litter this year, and nearly 78% of that was plastic. With that in mind, in 2021 we ran workshops in sustainability and plastic reduction across Australia, but in 2022 we will focus on addressing this issue to an even greater extent.

3) Partnering with CSIRO

In May this year, CVA partnered with CSIRO, with the aim to provide our data to better contribute to their research and policy work.

We worked with CSIRO’s Marine Debris Research team to train CVA staff in their data collection and survey methodology  – so that our community can participate in the Global Plastic Pollution Project led by CSIRO. Through further data collection, CSIRO is creating a comprehensive analysis of plastics on both land and waterways for major coastal cities around the world – this information is used by CSIRO’s world leading researchers to help Australia respond to the global waste problem by changing the way we make, use, recycle and dispose of plastics.  

#SeaToSource tackles plastic and ocean litter around Australia


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