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.
A small family on holidays at Macmasters Beach, gave Clean4shore a go, joining local volunteers for a clean-up at Bensville Jetty. 14 full bags of litter were retrieved, plus plenty of larger items including a toilet seat, irrigation pipe, truck and car tyre, oyster products, deck chairs, treated pine, shade cloth, tarpaulins and fence palings. The most common items were the 280 plastic bottles, plus 420 plastic bags or pieces of plastic. In total 480kgs were removed and disposed off at the Woy Woy landfill.
Unfortunatley some residents have cut paths through the mangrove system to enable them to reach the water's edge from their houses.
Duke of Edinburgh’s Award students assisted in the clean-up as part of their required community service and great support from local shop owner Sue from Bottle Tree Café who took care of the volunteers following the clean-up.
Earlier this month, Tangaroa Blue Foundation accomplished a 3-day clean up in Far North Queensland during 4th – 7th April with the help of 15 volunteers. Departing from Port Douglas on the charter boat “The Boss”, we headed North overnight for our first clean-up stop at Cape Bedford where we were met by the Hope Vale Congress Indigenous Rangers. At this site, we removed 257kgs of rubbish from just 200 metres! The most common items found on this remote beach were broken bits of hard plastic, 1595, lids and bottletops 587, pieces of polystyrene foam 280 and plastic drink bottles 257. We also removed derelict fishing nets and floats that were buried in the sand. After the clean-up, we shared a BBQ with the rangers where they shared some dreamtime stories, then said our goodbyes and set sail for Lizard Island.
A more than 10 year campaign is coming to a head with Ministers due to meet in April to make a decision on the Containe Deposit Scheme.
With more than 80% of Australian's consitently supporting this program, it is frustrating that the government has to date refused to support this initiative. Successfully run in SA for more than 30 years, the reduction in beverage containers in the litter stream is evident.
Now it seems that the Victorian Premier Denise Napthine has thrown his support behind the campaign - this article was published in The Age on March 23, 2014.
We urge everyone to show their support for this campaign by emailing NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell and encouraging him to join his Victorian counterpart, which will result in a huge reduction of beverage containers in our environment!
On January 15th 2014, Tangaroa Blue Foundation received a response letter from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) updating us of their plans to reduce the impact of weather balloons and their components on the environment.
In the letter, BoM stated that they are committed to minimising any negative environmental impacts arising from their operations through the reduction of the number of balloon releases; and using sustainable materials where possible.