18,000 pieces of plastic are estimated to float in every square kilometre of ocean.
276 species worldwide including 77 Australian species are impacted by marine debris.
Tangaroa Blue Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation focused on the health of our marine environment, and coordinates the Australian Marine Debris Initiative, an on-ground network of volunteers, communities, organisations and agencies around the country monitoring the impacts of marine debris along their stretch of coastline.
In Maori and Polynesian mythology, Tangaroa is one of the great gods, the god of the ocean. He is the son of Ranginui and Papatuanuku, Sky and Earth. Tangaroa is the father of many sea creatures and his breaths are the tides. 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..."
The organisation was named Tangaroa Blue Foundation to highlight the importance of protecting our oceans and creating programs and resources to help communities look after their local coastal environment.
On Friday the 31st of October 2014, 21 students from Miallo State School joined Tangaroa Blue at the Rocky Point beach with the hope of making a positive impact on their local coastal and marine environment.
During the first session, students participated in a discussion about the origins and impacts of marine debris, and learnt all about Tangaroa Blue and the Australian Marine Debris Initiative. Then with hats on heads and bags in hands, the students descended onto the beach and proceeded to enthusiastically pounce upon every item that was not meant to be there.
The team from Brisbane Waters Secondary College's 'The Croft' headed out onto the Hawkesbury River to monitor and clean the isolated beaches and foreshores from Parlsey Bay to Juno Point and Little Wobby on October 30th.
The project, funded by Hornsby Council and Greater Sydney Local Land Services, is part of the Hawkesbury Estuary Clean4Shore Program, which involves students and volunteers in the removal of tonnes of marine debris from the Hawkesbury river system every year.
On Wednesday 22nd October 2014 students from Batemans Bay, Sunshine Bay, Mogo, Moruya, Bodalla, and Narooma Primary Schools had a beach day with a trashy difference.
The students joined Eurobodalla Shire Council environment education officers Bernadette Davis and Tom Dexter who took them on a marine debris clean-up along Shark Bay at Broulee. The students learnt how to sort and tally the debris then record it with Tangaroa Blue.
Each school was represented by about 6 students who were asked to take the information back to their schools and organise and run a debris clean-up at their local beach or river. The first school to do so wins a prize!
More than 150,000,000 pieces of rubbish are strewn upon Australia's beaches, big news considering more than 80% of Australians live within 100km of the coast. Alarmed by this overwhelming statistic, Phoenix Organics has joined forces with Tangaroa Blue Foundation and Sustainable Coastlines to create The Love Project. This project aims to empower Aussies to vote and help clean up and protect our much-loved coastlines.
Australians can visit Phoenix's Facebook page to vote for the beach they love the most and would like to keep clean. The Phoenix Love Project has contributed $40,000 to Sustainable Coastlines and Tangaroa Blue Foundation to complete beach cleanup projects over the summer months.