A local group is combining enjoyment of the great outdoors and a bit of exercise with picking up rubbish to enhance their waterfront environment.
The group was organised through social media and gained 165 members in only a few weeks as Responsible Runner ambassador Gabrielle Costello explains.
"Being a responsible runner does not mean you have to run (although you are more than welcome to)! The idea behind it is 30 minutes of physical activity while cleaning up rubbish from our beaches/water ways."
Gabriielle was attracted to the original Responsible Runners network of runners, walkers, and pro-activists dedicated to keeping our beaches, waterways, and land clean while keeping fit.
"Over the summer I spent a lot of time swimming with (daughter) Sierra and that's when I noticed just how much rubbish is really lying around certain areas around the Whitsundays, I wanted to do something but felt the task was a bit large size and time wise for me to try and tackle on my own."
"It was around about the same time Responsible Runners showed up in my news feed on Facebook, I followed them for a few weeks and saw just how effective just a few people doing an hour clean up could really be, that's when I decided to contact them and ask them if they would be interested in me being a RR ambassador and they happily agreed."
"I have already been asked a few times if I get paid to do this, and I do not. Everything I do is out of my own time and resources, the reward for me is a bit of fresh air and exercise and satisfaction that I know I'm doing my bit no matter how small it may seem to others," Ms Costello told the Whitsunday Coast Guardian this week.
"It makes such a difference not just preventing the litter ending up in the ocean, but preventing it getting there in the first place by creating awareness and inspiring people to make a difference through the RR presence on the beach and the photos shared over social media (Facebook) about just how much rubbish is really out there.
RR meet every Sunday at 4pm for an hour and then afterwards count what has been collected and record the data to send off to Tangaroa Blue Australian Marine Debris Initiative, who provide us with our clean up kits.
"The name is a bit confusing for some - you don't actually have to run, I certainly don't unless I'm chasing Sierra," Ms Costello added.
Compared to the charismatic megafauna of the oceans, jellyfish have never received the attention they deserve.
Lisa-ann Gershwin, the director of the Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Services, wrote Stung! to help correct this, arguing that jellyfish are to the oceans what canaries are in a coal mine, except their indicator behaviour is to thrive when conditions are most dire. Accounts of the various jellyfish blooms across the globe, from polar waters to tropical seas, are used to illustrate just how much the ocean environments have changed, mostly to the detriment of marine biodiversity.
Dr Gershwin has spent quite a bit of time here in the Whitsunday area and is well known for her passion for jellyfish research. Indeed, the only time over the years your writer has seen an Irukandji was a creature caught by Lisa-ann and safely pickled in a small glass vial.
This genre of nature writing is highly frequented territory. But what makes Stung! stand out is that Gershwin achieves the rare combination of being not just a talented researcher who has discovered more than 160 new jellyfish species but also a very entertaining writer, turning what could have been a worthy but prosaic book into a page turner.
Stung! On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean by Lisa-ann Gershwin is published this week by University of Chicago Press
Slade Rock - Mariners are advised that the lighted port lateral mark buoy Fl R 25s which marks Slade Rock has been re-established in position. AUS charts 249, 250, 823 & 824
Abbot Point Berth One - Mariners are advised that Abbot Point berth 1 front lead light F G is temporary unlit due to maintenance on berth 1. Mariners are advised to navigate with caution in this area. AUS charts 255 & 826
Fair winds to Ye!