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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".

Local Groups band together to take care of our place

2018 GKIIt was all hands on deck aboard Freedom Fast Cat’s Freedom Flyer, for a day spent tackling marine debris on some of the more hard to access beaches around Great Keppel Island.

The day that was funded by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Community Grants and Livingstone Shire Council was also supported by Max Allen and the team at Freedom Fast Cats.

Representatives from eight local groups including Woppaburra Traditional Owners, Capricornia Catchments, Capricorn Coast Landcare, GenYadaba, Friends of Lammermoor Native Gardens, The Surfrider Foundation, Plastic Bag Free Livingstone, Greening Australia, and The Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland along with a number of individuals collected more than 4200 pieces of marine debris from local beaches. The haul that totalled nearly 300kgs included some unusual items including a bar fridge, plastic 44 gallon drum, whole wooden pallets, right down to tiny plastic astronaut toys.

Photo credit: Malcolm Wells

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Another successful adventure at Chilli Beach

2018 Chilli Beach1Chilli Beach is picture perfect, an iconic tropical postcard, its a long white beach lined with palm trees swaying in the wind and fallen coconuts, with views of offshore islands and an endless blue world to gaze out upon. The nights brought peaceful sounds of the wind, rolling waves and sometimes sprouts of rain as well as wildlife visitors, while the mornings were filled with bird songs and colourful sunrises.

Chilli Beach was a great site to camp out for the week, but the reason Tangaroa Blue Foundation and volunteers along with Clean Coast Collective, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Rangers, Land and Trust Rangers, Traditional Owners and Lockhart State School students, collaborated for the eighth year in a row, was because Chilli Beach is a marine debris hotspot and an environmentally significant location that needs protection.

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Join us for the WA Marine Debris Project- Oct 13 & 14

WAMDP 18Join hundreds of volunteers across Western Australia, gathering to look after our beautiful coastlines, waterways and marine life.

Tangaroa Blue is calling on citizen scientists, schools, community groups, local governments and all ocean lovers to participate in the 2018 Marine Debris Project.

Formerly named the WA Beach Clean-up Event, our new name reflects the important role of data collection in the clean-up process.

The clean-up data you collect will help us track litter to its source and prevent it from entering the waste stream and harming our environment and marine life,

Step 1: Find a favourite beach, river or waterway that need's a clean-up and register your site 

Step 2: Enlist your friends and family to help for a few hours at your clean-up event sometime over the October 13-14 weekend.

Step 3: Await your clean-up and data record kit delivery and follow the advice to get your team ready for action!

Step 4: On the day, collect and audit marine debris, record data for upload later or use the new AMDI data app to record directly into Tangaroa Blue Australian Marine Debris Database

Register now!

Tangaroa Blue Foundation would like to thank Keep Australia Beautiful WA, Department of Parks and Wildlife and local government authorities around the state, as well as our corporate partners Two Fins, Wodup and Savvy Jerky plus all the amazing volunteers for their ongoing support on this annual event.

#msnobutts campaign outfits

suit pic 330x225The Victorian Litter Innovation Fund (the Fund) provides support for the Victorian community, including government, business, not-for-profit organisations, social enterprises and schools, to fund innovative approaches that prevent and reduce the impact of litter and illegal dumping.

As part of this funding the City of Dandengong introduced the #msnobutts brings fresh attitude to the cigarette butt litter campaign.

To read the full case study please visit this link.

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Did you know?

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

  • Number of clean-up sites: 2,806
  • Number of volunteers: 118,450
  • Number of tonnes removed: 976 tonnes
  • Number of items removed: 11,681,551 items
  • Number of volunteer hours: 298,264 hours
  • Number of clean-ups: 12,956