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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".

Are you a database wizz?

AMDI LogoTangaroa Blue's Australian Marine Debris Database is growing every day with volunteers and partners across Australia sending in their data sheets from their beach, river and community clean-up events. In the next few months we will reach a huge milestone clicking over 10,000,000 marine debris items being recorded!

Our database team needs to grow to meet this demand and we are looking for an AMDI Database project officer to join our team.

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Orpheus Island Beach Clean-ups Proving Successful!

2017 OI 1Orpheus Island Beach Clean-ups Proving Successful!: signs of declining marine debris

Written by: Jesse Rheinlander (volunteer) and Vanessa Carey (coordinator)

It’s been a week since Tangaroa Blue Foundation and a team of 12 dedicated volunteers set out from Lucinda towards Orpheus Island. From November 18th to 22nd their mission was to relieve a section of the windward stretch of coast from the burden of discarded and forgotten marine debris. Upon arrival the team was greeted by staff from the Orpheus Island Research Station as well as 6 additional volunteers who were in the right place at the right time to lend a helping hand in protecting our saltwater country.

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Cigarette butts are made out of what?

Cig butt memeAs part of the Source Reduction Plan workshops that we held earlier this year around Port Phillip Bay, three local projects addressing cigarette butt litter were developed. This included surveying smokers, and we were surprised that many people didn't realise cigarette butts are actually made out of plastic. To help close this knowledge gap, we've created a few resources which you can download from our website.

Cigarette butt meme

Cigarette butt video

Thanks to everyone who got involved in the projects, to Sustainability Victoria and the 7 local government partners for their support!

Wadeye Recycling Champion Award

Wadeye 1During 2017 it was great to see so many people in Wadeye involved in the community recycling project. There are many people that work to help clean the community and support our project, and several people deserve special recognition in their efforts keeping Wadeye clean.

Richard Tcherna is the number 1 recycling champion of 2017. Richard is always walking around town with his plastic bags collecting bottles and for his amazing efforts we’d like to award him with a family size washing machine. The washing machine was kindly donated by the ENI gas plant.

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What's been collected on your beach?

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Upcoming Clean Up Events

Did you know?

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

  • Number of clean-up sites: 2 460
  • Number of volunteers: 99 214
  • Number of tonnes removed: 878 tonnes
  • Number of items removed: 9 787 171 items
  • Number of volunteer hours: 249 085 hours
  • Number of clean-ups: 10 992