Redcliffe’s Family Turtle Expo Day: A Call to Protect Turtles

Redcliffe Family Turtle Expo Day

Redcliffe locals are issuing a call to action to raise awareness about the plight of turtles in Moreton Bay, particularly those nesting on Peninsula beaches, with the upcoming Family Turtle Expo Day aiming to shed light on the issue.

Organised by the Rotary Club of Redcliffe Sunrise, the Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group (ESRAG), and Oceania, the Family Turtle Expo Day will occur on April 20 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:000 p.m. at Scarborough’s Queens Beach North. Admission is free to all.

Colin Scobie, the initiative’s spokesperson, emphasised the event’s relevance by pointing out that turtles usually nest from October to March, and the hatching process happens from December to May, reaching its peak in February and March. He highlighted the significance of the community’s vigilance, especially along Queens Beach North, where the warm, high sand embankments above the high tide line provide perfect nesting grounds.

In 2010, there was an event where hundreds of turtle hatchlings became disoriented by street lighting and wandered onto the road. Scobie emphasised the importance of increased awareness and protection measures to prevent this from happening again. As a solution, turtle-friendly street lighting was installed along the affected stretch of road.

Scobie cautioned that turtles have an inherent ability to find their way back to their usual nesting areas, including Queens Beach North. He emphasized the potential effects of climate change and predicted a rise in nesting activity on the Peninsula due to favourable conditions.

The expo is organized to address the challenges faced by turtles, especially marine litter, within the protected Ramsar site of Moreton Bay. Inspired by the ‘Marine Debris’ exhibit at Redcliffe Museum, Vivien Harris and Karen Catterall have designed turtle-shaped boards decorated with trash collected mainly from Clontarf Beach.

Redcliffe Family Turtle Expo Day
Photo Credit: Rotary Club of Redcliffe/Facebook

Their artwork, showcased at the event, aims to raise awareness about the pervasive issue of beach litter and encourage responsible waste disposal practices.

Despite their clean-up efforts, Harris and Catterall were dismayed by the debris that had accumulated on local beaches. They highlighted the role of stormwater runoff in transporting land-based litter to the sea.

Interactive activities have been planned for an upcoming event, which includes turtle painting sessions for children and the chance to observe turtle nests with the Bribie Island Turtle Trackers. The aim is to communicate a message of environmental stewardship that will stay with attendees. Everyone is encouraged to reduce their plastic usage in daily life to help protect threatened species.

The Family Turtle Expo Day aims to promote collective commitment to safeguarding the region’s marine biodiversity by encouraging broad participation from diverse community segments.

Published 18-March-2024