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 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!
Another fantastic clean up was run with the Wonga Beach State School on Tuesday 21st of October. Teachers, parents and lots of excited students spent the morning cleaning the beach just across the road from the school, an important area to all those involved.
After an hour of collecting marine debris and entering information into data sheets as they went, the group concluded the clean up with a total of 36.2 kgs of rubbish removed from their local beach!
Chairs, flippers, thongs and even a helmet were some of the most interesting things found, and a lot of the debris will be getting used in the students recycling art class they will be having as a follow up to this event.
Thank you to all those that were involved, it was an extremely fun morning and we look forward to working with Wonga Beach State School and their students again in the future!
The Brisbane Waters Foreshore Program - Clean4shore - joined forces with the Gosford City Council for another clean-up at Erina Bay on Pelican Island in NSW's Brisbane Waters on October 22nd.
The volunteer team from North Gosford Learning Centre, along with program coordinator Graham Johnston and local oyster grower Simon Funnel worked on removing litter from the mangroves adjacent to the Central Coast Highway at the Punt Bridge.
A good tidal water level got Simon's barge into Erina Bay, allowing the clean-up work on the mangroves close to the Central Coast Highway to begin. Plenty of litter was quickly collected with 12 large bags loaded with many plastic and glass bottles, plastic bags, all sorts of rubber and plastic items, and close to 80 tennis balls!
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.