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Marine Debris

18,000 pieces of plastic are estimated to float in every square kilometre of ocean.

633 species worldwide including 77 Australian species are impacted by marine debris.

Over 75% of what is removed from our beaches is made of plastic.

Tangaroa Blue Foundation is an Australian-wide not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the removal and prevention of marine debris, one of the major environmental issues worldwide. But if all we do is clean-up, that is all we will ever do.

To successfully solve the problem, the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) was created, an on-ground network of volunteers, communities and organisations that contribute data from rubbish collected during beach and river clean-up events to the AMDI Database, and then work on solutions to stop the flow of litter at the source. The AMDI helps communities look after their coastal environment by providing resources and support programs, and collaborates with industry and government to create change on a large scale.

In Maori and Polynesian mythology, Tangaroa is the god of the ocean. Tangaroa made laws to protect the ocean and its sea creatures "Tiaki mai i ahau, maku ano koe e tiaki"... If you look after me, then I will look after you..." When, after a week-long clean-up event, the whales and dolphins come close to our beach and slap their flippers, we sometimes wonder if it is Tangaroa saying "thank you".

Carly Talks Marine Debris

Southern Cross Distance Education student, Carly Shanahan, speaks about marine debris. This is part of the school's Save Our Seas and Cross Current Collaborative projects and is supported by Tangaroa Blue and the Australian Marine Debris Initiative.

QLD to go Plastic Bag Free!

GParsons MarinephotoBank Greenpeace lowEnvironment Minister Dr Steven Miles released on 25/11 2016 a public discussion paper to ensure the community has its say on the Government’s 2018 ban on light-weight single-use plastic shopping bags.

Dr Miles stressed it was important the Government consulted with the community – and key stakeholders – to ensure the best possible outcomes for all Queenslanders.

“The scientific evidence about the harmful impacts of plastic in the environment is growing every day, and there is considerable support for a plastic bag ban,” Dr Miles said.

“Retailers and environmental and community groups who attended plastic bag workshops in Queensland in 2015, and at a national plastic bag roundtable in Sydney in February 2016, agreed there was a need to restrict single-use plastic shopping bags.

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Tangaroa Blue is Hiring!

Tangaroa Blue LogoIf you are passionate about our oceans, and want to be part of a national team that is proactive in protecting our environment, Tangaroa Blue Foundation needs you!

We are recruiting for a super organised project officer to assist our Managing Director. The position is currently for 2-3 days per week, however could include extra hours during busy times. The successful applicant needs to have an ABN, and although it would be preferred that they live in the Port Douglas / Cairns area in Queensland, for the right applicant a remote position would be considered.

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Port Phillip Source Reduction Workshops!

2017 Yarra

As a leading expert in addressing the marine debris issue, Tangaroa Blue Foundation is coordinating Source Reduction Plan workshops in seven council regions around Port Phillip Bay in 2017 (see more details below). You are invited to participate in this exciting project to tackle marine debris & litter at the source.

Cleaning up areas like beaches, waterways, streets and parks is essential to reduce the impacts of marine debris & litter, but this is only a Band-Aid approach to what has become a major environmental issue worldwide. “If all we do is clean-up, that’s all we’ll ever do” - Heidi Taylor, Tangaroa Blue Foundation. The only way of making a real change is analysing where the litter & debris comes from, and finding ways of stopping it ending up in our ocean and rivers in the first place - a Source Reduction Plan.

Join us in 2017 to help find ways to stop the flow of rubbish into Port Phillip Bay and the Yarra River.

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What's been collected on your beach?

Check out what has been found by volunteers on beaches around Australia!

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Did you know?

Since 2004 Tangaroa Blue volunteers and partners have been hard at work cleaning our beaches!

  • Number of clean-up sites: 2,049
  • Number of volunteers: 69,010
  • Number of tonnes removed: 621 tonnes
  • Number of items removed: 7,043,488 items
  • Number of volunteer hours: 184,405 hours