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Aboriginal Group protecting Arnhem turtles from 'highest densities of plastic pollution' set to represent NT on national stage

Part of the team from Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation during a beach clean up camp in October 2019 Source: Suppplied

Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal environmental group safeguarding the vast Northeast Arnhem Land marine wildlife from plastic debris is set to represent the Northern Territory on a national stage.

Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation will go on to represent NT while competing for the Virgin Coastcare Award at the National Landcare Awards in 2020.

This comes on the heels of Dhimurru’s triumph, winning the Virgin Coastcare Award at the NT Landcare Awards 2019.

Landcare Awards highlight and celebrate the achievements of groups and individuals in the Landcare community who have made a significant contribution to the environment, sustainable farming practices and natural resource management.

Luke Playford, Project Facilitator for Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation, says his organisation looks after 70 kilometres of beaches tarnished by marine debris within their Indigenous Protected Area.

The area provides an important nesting habitat for marine turtles and internationally significant breeding populations of Bridled and Roseate Terns.

But the once pristine coastline is being inundated with some of the highest densities of rubbish in the world.

‘Dhimurru and its group of Aboriginal Rangers are on the ground facing a tide of plastic pollution from foreign sources that threatens to destroy the cultural, natural and tourism values of the Arnhem Coast,” Luke Playford said.

Historically, waste has been from fisheries but these days it is increasingly domestic: hairbrushes, shampoo bottles and cigarette lighters from the Indo-Pacific region.

Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation is one of Landcare’s key projects during Coastcare Week (Dec 2 – 8) which recognises community volunteer groups protecting our coastal and marine environments.

Luke Playford revealed that Dhimurru’s 10 Aboriginal Rangers alone wouldn’t be able to look after their 550 000 hectares of land and marine protected area without the help of hundreds of volunteers and support from the community.

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