THERE was an army of them and they took to the beach to reclaim paradise.
The growing might of the Surfrider Foundation on the Sunshine Coast was never more evident than at Freshwater at the weekend as more than 250 people set about cleaning up the mess left by others.
The size of participation is a 150% increase on the 100 volunteers who last year removed two tonnes of rubbish.
Surfrider mobilised beach lovers using Facebook, newspapers, television and radio to attack the rubbish left by the busy Christmas, Australia Day weekend and Easter holiday breaks which see up to 2800 people camp on the beach between Teewah and Freshwater.
The reason is simple, Macintyre says.
"When I was a kid we used to swim in the fresh water that flowed from the dunes. I wouldn't let my kids do that now.''
The volunteerism is also earning Surfrider a seat at the table as it argues the case for improved rubbish collection and toilet facilities on the 40km of trafficable beach between the Noosa River and Double Island Point.
It wasn't all work though with a barbecue, live music and prize give aways for lucky participants.
They'll be back again on October 24-25 to do it all again.
Barefoot Wines, a Surfrider global sponsor, Noosa Northshore Ferries and Parks and Wildlife have supported the cause.
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