Marine Debris

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.

Marine Debris Hiking on Orpheus Island!

20140729 OrpheusTangaroa Blue Foundation tackled Orpheus Island this week with a total of 18 volunteers hiking an hour to the East side to clean up a remote, 300 metre long beach. This site has been periodically cleaned up by Orpheus Island Research Station volunteers in the past, however due to the 1 hour hike back to the station volunteers are unable to bring their debris collection back with them, thus starting two large designated debris dump piles that just grew every year.


Almost 30,000 plastic lids wash up on remote Great Barrier Reef beach!

2014 ChilliFor the third year running Tangaroa Blue Foundation volunteers, have been joined by a team from Conservation Volunteers Australia, Lockhart River State School students and teachers, and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Rangers for a clean-up along iconic Chilli Beach, in remote Cape York.

This 6.7km section of coastline in the Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park is for the moment marine debris free, with over 3.4 tonnes of mainly plastic pollution being removed by volunteers over the 5 day event.

Not only was the 3.4 tonnes removed from the beach, but data was collected for inclusion in the Australian Marine Debris Database, which is used to track debris to the source, and to create strategies that prevent rubbish and waste from entering the environment in the first place.


We Need Your Vote!

2012 WA Beach Clean Up Ellensbrook BeachTangaroa Blue Foundation will be joining 69 other awesome organisations and volunteers who are finalists in 9 diverse categories of the 2014 National Landcare Awards.

Winning the WA Landcare Award for the Coastcare Category last year meant that we join other state Coastcare winners for the national award to be announced in Melbourne in September.

And you can be part of the voting - The 2014 People's Choice Award is now open! To vote for Tangaroa Blue Foundation just visit The National Landcare Awards and nominiate us in the Coastcare Category.

Thanks for your support!

2014 Cairns Underwater Film Festival!

Cuff callforentries TangaroaThe Great Barrier Reef Photo and Video competition for the 2014 Cairns Underwater Film Festival is now open for entries with a massive prize pool worth over $70,000.

This year we have a new video category and will be raising money for local marine charities: the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation, the Minke Whale Project and the Tangaroa Blue Foundation.

The competition is running over the next three months leading up to the festival, with entries for the film competition closing on the 12th July, whilst the photo competition closes on the 23rd July. Festival organisers are now calling on local underwater photographers and filmmakers to get their entries ready.



The Australian Marine Debris Initiative is a way that everyone can become involved in both the removal of marine debris and finding solutions to stop the flow of rubbish into our oceans.

Australian Marine Debris Initiative Logo



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What's been collected on your beach?

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

Online Database


Upcoming Clean Up Events

Did you know?

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

  • Number of cleanup sites 1,137
  • Number of volunteers 29,943
  • Number of tonnes removed 217 tonnes
  • Number of items removed 2,734,519