ReefClean Mural at Causeway Lake a success – Fishing Tackle Litter reduced by 80%

Capricornia Catchments partnered with Tangaroa Blue through the ReefClean Program along with Livingstone Shire Council to engage local artists Martin Schlick from Mash Designs and emerging artist Rebecca Johnston to create educational murals for the Causeway Lake Buildings.

The murals aim at reducing fishing tackle pollution at Causeway Lake. With help from BirdLife Capricornia, these murals highlight the significant, rare, and sensitive wildlife that relies on the area and the impact litter and fishing tackle litter has on wildlife.

In conjunction with the artwork, several clean-ups in the area were undertaken to collect data and monitor the effectiveness of the mural on users’ litter behaviour.






Results show that there has been a significant reduction in litter and marine debris volume. Fishing tackle specific litter has reduced by 80% and general litter showed a major decrease of 49% overall.

Capricornia Catchments also received anecdotal feedback from community members saying that they have noticed a positive difference in the cleanliness of the Causeway Lake recreational area.

Overall successful results in reducing litter at the Causeway Lake recreational area through the combination of artwork, collaboration and community involvement. However, ongoing work is still needed in the area.

This project would not have been possible without the ongoing support from Livingstone Shire Council, the Regional Artist Development Fund, Tangaroa Blue Foundation and ReefClean.

ReefClean is funded by the Australian Governments Reef Trust and delivered by Tangaroa Blue Foundation.

1669kgs of marine debris removed from Darwin Harbour

On a muggy day in October, 154 volunteers from 21 different organisations pitched in to collect 1669kgs of debris from coastal areas around Darwin Harbour, from Wagait to Casuarina Coastal Reserve. Some went on foot, some by boat, and some by jet ski! After a hot morning cleaning up our beaches and waterways, the debris was brought back to Fishermans Wharf to be weighed and sorted by the Larrakia Rangers and Tangaroa Blue.

The majority of the items collected included metal bottle caps, lids and pull-tabs, glass, plastic food packaging, plastic drink bottles and plastic lids, and rubber tyres! 21 rubber tyres alone were collected from the Palmerston Boat Ramp, Indicating potential illegal dumping.

However, the good news is that there was 300 kgs less debris collected compared to last year!

The Darwin Harbour Clean Up is a long running community clean up, currently coordinated by the Larrakia Rangers. The major partners this year included SeaLink, INPEX, Santos, City of Darwin and Territory Natural Resource Management who contributed both funds and volunteers to make the day possible. Other organisations that contributed time and hands included the Amateur Fisherman Association NT, Australian Border Force, Museum and Art Gallery of the NT, NT Fisheries Division, Royal Australian Air Force, Knucky Womens Centre, Belyuen School, Wagait Council, Kenbi Rangers, Northern Territory Parks & Wildlife Service, Clontarf Academy, STARS Foundation, Paspaley, Surf Life Saving NT, Northern Territory Water Police, and Darwin Port Authority.

Tangaroa Blue is happy to continue to support such a great community clean up event!

Photos by Lucyna Kania

Rubber Crumb Loss from GBR Play Areas

Many play areas have soft fall surfaces made of recycled rubber tyres applied as small pieces of crumb (1-5 mm in size). The use of rubber crumb in playgrounds and synthetic sports fields has been around for over a decade, although there has been a recent increase in investment in this product to try and deal with the more than 48 million tyres reaching end of life every year in Australia.

Rubber crumb and the chemicals associated with these (e.g. metals, PAHs, tyre anti degradants), however, have been found in international studies to leach into waterways and cause harm to aquatic life. Limited information exists on the potential loss and impacts associated with local sites and with the Great Barrier Reef considered a sensitive ecosystem, a focus on this region was considered a priority.

As part of the ReefClean project, Tangaroa Blue Foundation and AUSMAP developed a source reduction plan to quantify the amount of rubber crumb escaping from playground surfaces, and work with councils to identify ways to reduce the loss of rubber crumb into the Great Barrier Reef.

The full report is available here.

2021 WA Beach Clean-up another great success!

This year’s WA Beach Clean was another great success- with over 105 clean-ups conducted and engaging 1517 volunteers in local action.

More than 73,302 items (20,000 items more than last year!) were logged into the Australian Marine Debris Initiative Database. And more than a total of 3.1 Tonnes of marine debris removed from 209 kilometres of coastline, estuaries and waterways.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this years WA Beach Clean-up (WABCU). While beach clean-ups alone can’t solve the ocean trash problem, they are an integral piece to the overall solution.

We are so grateful to long term partners Keep Australia Beautiful WA as well as Tallwood Custom Built Homes and Baywest Blinds and Shutters for their support this year.

And finally, a thank you to all of the companies that generously supported through product donations

Now in its 17th year, the WABCU is a really special event to us and we hope to have you join us again in 2022.

For anyone who wants to see the full stats a more detailed report on findings will be released by Tangaroa Blue early in the New Year.



Don’t Dump on Our Reef

The team at Tangaroa Blue Foundation have set out to educate the public about the harmful environmental effects of dog waste and propose methods of green disposal in order to further reduce the environmental impact associated with pet ownership.

Many dog owners see their pets’ waste as a natural product, which leads to a large number of dog owners leaving their dog waste to degrade in the environment. Despite this statement being of truth, dog waste does contain a large number of pathogens and nutrients. The environment is able to break down these pathogens and nutrients up to a certain load, however current statistics from the Australian census demonstrate that a large number of dogs are registered within suburban areas and that numbers are on the rise (with an increase just shy of 1 million from 2013 to 2019). This has led to an increased load of waste produced within a smaller area, surpassing the environmental threshold for natural waste management.

The pathogens found in dog waste can be toxic to humans, with many parasites and infections readily transferable to the human body (for example; Salmonella, Campylobacteriosis, Cryptosporidiosis, Toxocariasis, Hookworm infection, Echinococcosis (caused by tapeworms) and Giardia). Not to mention your beloved pets’ wandering nose could also readily pick up any of these harmful parasites and infections from any dog waste left behind by previous owners, or even worse your dog waste could infect somebody else’s beloved pet! In regards to an increased nutrient load within the environment, this can directly impact the quality of neighbouring water bodies within the catchment area leading to excessive weed or algae growth.

For those dog owners that do pick up their pets’ waste, many use plastic products to do so. This in turn creates another debris item, and often is not disposed of correctly. When considering green methods of disposable it is important to understand what the doggy bag is made of (for example avoid items containing petrochemicals and instead use items made of cornstarch).

The team at Tangaroa Blue Foundation not only wanted to highlight the negative environmental impacts that dog waste has, but also provide responsible pet owners with a green solution on how to dispose of it. For more information click here to view our double-sided factsheet.

In an attempt to make the conversation of dog poop a little more fun, an interactive personality quiz based on association was drafted to determine “What Kind of Dog Owner Are you?”. The personality types for the quiz were based according to a scientifically credited psychology paper, which states there are 5 types of dog owners in regards to how they approach the situation of their dog’s waste (Lowe, CN et al., 2014). A graphic design company, 55 Knots, generously donated their time to create caricatures depicting each of the 5 types of personalities based on the following descriptions. The team at Tangaroa Blue Foundation would like to thank the team at 55 knots for their generosity and excellent work.

Find out what type of dog owner you are by taking this short quiz:

For a breakdown of the types of dog owners follow this link:

What Kind of Dog Owner are you? – Tangaroa Blue

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