The 2021 WA Beach Clean-up Report is here!

The 2021 Western Australia Beach Clean-up Report summarises the state-wide clean-ups from Tangaroa Blue Foundations’ annual event.

Over 90 organisations, volunteer groups, community members and businesses joined in the 2021 Western Australian Beach Clean-up. At 100 events, over 3 tonnes of debris was
removed by 1,439 volunteers over 3,800 hours and 214 kilometres.

While fewer events were held in 2021 than 2020 and 2019, more volunteers contributed to the event and collected a larger weight of debris over a greater distance. Volunteer effort, was unsurprisingly, concentrated in the most populous regions, the South West and Swan River.

Christmas Island had the highest density of debris at 0.141 pieces per square metre, while the South Coast region had the lowest density at 0.001. In regional and remote areas, the debris was dominated by items from an offshore source, such as the high levels of rope and net scraps found in the South Rangelands region.

Plastic materials such as plastic bits & pieces, plastic food packaging, and plastic film remnants dominated the top three item lists in all regions, with rope and cigarette butts and filters found at high levels in several regions as well. All data was entered into the AMDI Database and will inform management strategy recommendations and plans in the future.

Download a copy of the report here.

Important Safety Reminder – Dangerous Items

In recent weeks, there have been several reports of silver canisters being found during beach clean-ups. These items are considered extremely dangerous and must be reported immediately by calling 000.  These canisters are filled with aluminium phosphide, a toxic combination of chemicals that are fatal to ingest or inhale. One of the most concerning aspects of these canisters is that they have no label, and for the curious mind they are tempting to pick up.

The most recent sighting was at Conway Beach in the Whitsundays, however they have been found in many locations around Australia. These silver canisters are used for pest control on ships, and a large spill occurred off the north-east coast of Australia a few years ago. This is a timely reminder that these canisters are still washing up, several years after the spill at sea.

What to do if you find a silver canister?

  •         Do not touch it. If in doubt, treat it as a dangerous item.
  •         Stand up wind to avoid possible inhalation and alert people in the vicinity.
  •         Mark the area with brightly coloured tape or sticks and record the GPS location.
  •         If you are conducting a clean-up activity, alert the Coordinator.
  •         Call 000 and report the dangerous item with its exact location.
  •         Fire and Emergency Services will respond with their team wearing hazmat suits and oxygen tanks.

Download the Silver Canister Safety Poster here.

Another hazardous item is asbestos, a fibrous material that usually presents as grey corrugated sheets. If suspected, do not touch the item, as inhaling the fibres can cause serious health problems. Mark the area with sticks or brightly coloured tape and record the GPS coordinates. Contact the local ranger or local council office to report the asbestos and they will advise of their course of action. Download the Asbestos Safety Poster here.

There may be other instances where you come across potentially dangerous items and the appropriate authorities need to be notified. For items that clearly pose an immediate threat to people or wildlife, such as weapons, explosives or toxic chemicals, contact the local police or ranger. When doing your beach clean-ups, please remember that safety must always come first.

We’re Hiring! Media Coordinator – Queensland

Title: Media and Content Coordinator – remotely from home
Location: Remotely from home. 

Tangaroa Blue Foundation is an Australia-wide not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the removal and prevention of marine debris: one of the major environmental issues worldwide. We do this by removing what’s already out there, stopping the flow of litter into the ocean and reducing the amount of waste produced.

The Media and Content Coordinator role supports the Management team in the successful promotion of Tangaroa Blue projects, and has responsibility for all aspects of creating content/social media and communication coordination.

About the role

You will keep a close eye on events, activities and updates to promote through the organisation’s website, social media and other platforms. Working with our team around the Country, you will help them capture engaging stories and images to use across our two “brands” – you will take those stories and write copy or captions and schedule them.

Overall you will be responsible for managing our media communities/channels while supporting the organisation in the promotion, delivery and reporting of project activities.

This is a part-time opportunity, working remotely from home. Ideally based in Queensland, the location of the successful applicant is negotiable.

About you

  • You have a keen interest in environmental stewardship, including minimising the impact of marine debris on marine and human life across fresh or saltwater country.
  • At least 2 years’ experience in social media, communications and media.
  • Knowledge in the creation of image media.
  • Computer literacy in Google Suite, WordPress and social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn).
  • High proficiency in written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail and problem-solving skills.
  • Relevant qualifications or comparable experience.

While not necessary, applicants with public speaking, not-for-profit, project management knowledge and experience in working with culturally diverse groups will be highly regarded.

How to apply:

Send your cover letter and CV to the General Manager info@tangaroablue.org to apply.

Date published: 24-June-2022

Contribute to EcoBrick research

 

The Tangaroa Blue team have been finding a number of EcoBricks washing up along the Australian coast over the past few years.

For those of you who don’t know, EcoBricks are PET bottles packed solid with clean and dry used plastic. EcoBricks are made manually to a set density to sequester plastic and create reusable building blocks. In this way EcoBricks aim to contribute to a circular economy, especially in countries where plastic litter is easy to find so it can be used as a building material. The hope is that Ecobricks help clean up plastic litter and stop plastic from breaking up into microplastics in our environment.

However, some EcoBricks end up in the environment anyway.

We are trying to determine the source of the EcoBricks we collected and it would help us to know about EcoBricks in your country so we would be grateful if you could take a few minutes to answer these 10 questions.

Complete the survey here.

This researching is being undertaken thanks to ReefClean and 10% For the Ocean.

ReefClean is a project funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust. Launched in early 2019, the project aims to remove and prevent marine debris along the Great Barrier Reef region through to 2023.

 

 

Monitoring methodologies to standardise citizen science data

In an Australian first, the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) has released monitoring protocols for litter and marine debris. These proven methodologies have been developed in collaboration with experts from UNSW, UTAS, SCU, MU as well as the Tangaroa Blue Foundation data team. They offer a standardised approach for citizen scientists collecting this important data on a national scale.

Read more “Monitoring methodologies to standardise citizen science data”

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