Join ReefClean’s 2022 Great Barrier Reef Clean-up!

Join ReefClean’s Great Barrier Reef Clean-up!

Are you a citizen scientist who is concerned about the health of the Great Barrier Reef? Maybe a school or community group who would like to monitor the health of the Great Barrier Reef? Or are you a  member of the local government, and would like to lead by example by becoming actively involved in contributing to the overall health of one of the most biologically diverse environments on this planet? Well then continue reading!

This October marks the start of our month-long series of events that focus on looking after our Reef. Tangaroa Blue Foundation, through the ReefClean Project is calling all ocean lovers to participate in the Great Barrier Reef Clean-Up. A number of flagship events will be held over the course of the month – stay tuned for these locations!

 To volunteer at a Flagship location, please click here.

This coming October will be our fourth year coordinating the Great Barrier Reef Clean-Up month! Ocean lovers from all over the GBR have generously contributed just over 9,000 hours of their time which has resulted in just under 14 tonnes of debris removed during previous years events.

The Great Barrier Reef Clean-Up is not limited to these flagship events, so make sure you monitor our events for more opportunities to get involved! The program also invites groups to adopt and register their own coastal or waterway sites to be cleaned throughout the month, so if you know of a site in your area that needs attention, we encourage you to register that site and get a group together.

Click here to register your own site.

ReefClean is funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and delivered by Tangaroa Blue Foundation in partnership with AUSMAP, Capricornia Catchments, Eco Barge Clean Seas, Reef Check Australia, and South Cape York Catchments.

Join the Great Barrier Reef Clean-up today!

7IMDC Wrap-Up

The 7th International Marine Debris Conference (7IMDC) took place in September from the 18th – 23rd in Busan, Republic of Korea. This was an important worldwide event attracting governments, industry professionals and relevant stakeholders to share the latest science, develop strong relationships and collaborations and discuss solutions to the serious issue of marine debris. 

Tangaroa Blue Foundation were honoured to be able to participate in this event, with CEO Heidi Tait travelling to the conference to share the findings of Tangaroa Blue projects and the importance of the independent, citizen science led Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) Database plays in the marine debris and source reduction space.

Check out some of the highlights of the conference below.

Long-term partners reunite 

Tangaroa Blue have been long-term partners with International Pellet Watch (IPW) who are a volunteer-based global monitoring program designed to monitor the pollution status of our oceans and we have been sending samples of plastic resin pellets collected on clean-ups over to them since 2007. IPW tests these samples for persistent organic pollutants (POPs), which are bioaccumulative by nature and have adverse effects on marine organisms and humans. Using this data, they can identify the magnitude and spatial variability of POPs in marine plastics for risk assessment.

We usually have to post these samples overseas, so it was pretty exciting that Heidi was able to personally hand over our recent set of monitoring samples from Western Australia to Bee Geok at the 7IMDC Conference.

International Pellet Watch and Heidi Tait at the 7IDMC Conference 

Teach. Tackle. Transform. 

This session showcased examples of how environmental issues and ocean literacy can be embedded in educational curriculum for schools, community education resources and built into replicable and scalable models through case studies from around the world.

Heidi represented Tangaroa Blue Foundation as a panellist alongside International Waste Platform, Indonesian Waste Platform, Thant Myanmar, Sustainable Seas Trust as well as Dr. Cressida Boywer from the University of Portsmouth and Prof. Biju Kumar from the University of Kerala.

Teach. Tackle. Transform. presentation at 7IDMC Conference

The power of Citizen Science

Standing in front of the poster they created together, Jordan Gacutan from Global Ocean Accounts, Dr Graeme Clark from UNSW and Heidi, were able to meet up at the 7IMDC Conference.

The poster titled ‘Citizen science supports integrated marine debris monitoring and management at multiple scales’ was presented at the conference and highlights the importance of citizen science in providing larger opportunities to measure and manage marine debris on a wider scale.

It was a great opportunity to talk about how the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) is advancing citizen science and discuss the strategies used to increase this data quality.

Citizen science supports integrated marine debris monitoring and management at multiple scales poster presented at the 7IDMC conference

We are committed 

Heidi Tait, on behalf of Tangaroa Blue Foundation, announced our commitment to the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) in a short video.
Take a look at that announcement here.

Can YOU Help Fill A Gap On The Map – LAST CHANCE to Register!!

We wanted to give a huge thank you to all of the organisations, school groups, families and individuals that have registered so far for the WA Beach Clean-Up Event (14-17 Oct) – it’s shaping up to be an epic weekend. We’ll be sending out clean-up kits in the next week or so which will include everything you need to run your event safely and effectively.

Check out our interactive map which shows where events have been registered so far this year. As you can see we have some areas very well supported and others that could do with some love! Can you help to fill a gap? You can register your own site here or click on the map icons and see details about how to join an existing site if it’s not listed as a Private Event.

Do you live in a more remote region of our beautiful coastline or know a community group that’s already running regular clean-ups in your town? We would love to see the map overflowing with blue markers for 2022.

Last year this event removed a whopping 3.2 tonne of marine debris from our beautiful coastline across 105 sites. Can we work together to beat last years total?
Can’t join us this year but still want to help out? Why not promote the WA Beach Clean-Up via your monthly newsletter or through your social media pages? It all helps grow the event and awareness around marine debris in Western Australia.

Australian Marine Debris Initiative upgrade announcement

My name is Heidi Tait, and I am the founder and CEO of Tangaroa Blue Foundation.

For more than 18 years, Tangaroa Blue Foundation has coordinated the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (known as the AMDI), creating a national network for citizen scientists, organisations and partners to collaborate on the removal and prevention of marine debris from our ocean ecosystems.

The evidence provided by the AMDI network has influenced the narrative and focus on marine debris within Australia, from a marginal issue to its recognition as a national and international threat that requires urgent action, as recognised by the passing of the United Nations resolution to create a legally binding Plastics Treaty by 2024. 

Individuals and organisations across Australia continue to support the AMDI Database, which now contains over 21 million items of marine debris that has been removed from our environment and systematically recorded through a collaboration of over 2000 partner organisations at 4500 clean-up sites. More than 215,000 volunteer opportunities have contributed $24 million dollars of in-kind effort into solving the marine debris issue. Evidence from the AMDI has been used in the implementation and monitoring of over 300 source reduction projects that aim to stop the flow of marine debris at the source.

With 18 years of baseline data collated from across Australia, the AMDI Database remains the largest single source of information on marine debris in the southern hemisphere. The database has informed decision making at all levels of the Australian Government and continues to be a trusted source of independent data and knowledge for decision makers, researchers and local communities.

The recent Australian Government’s investment of $1.75 million into a national marine debris database and encouragement of citizen scientists to contribute, acknowledges the key role that citizen scientists play as part of the solution and is the basis for Tangaroa Blue to develop the AMDI almost two decades ago.

We are encouraged by the Australian Government’s acknowledgment of the critical importance of addressing the marine debris issue, the need for a national coordinated response and the important role that citizen scientists play in delivering targets aligned with national and state plastics plans.

Tangaroa Blue Foundation remains committed to developing and expanding the AMDI, with continuing upgrades and investment. This includes the AMDI Monitoring Methodology manual for different types of locations, resulting from extensive consultation with expert partners from 3 universities. The Improved AMDI Database website and IOS and Android data collection apps are also planned for release by the end of 2022, increasing engagement with the database and the ease in which citizen scientists can enter and access data.

The AMDI Database team will continue to provide independent, custom datasets for all levels of Government to assist in guiding evidence-based policy, and to monitor the impact of source reduction strategies. 

We are excited to introduce our upgraded AMDI Database platforms to our AMDI network and we look forward to linking the AMDI even further, including supporting the United Nation’s Plastic Treaty. We will continue to work with the hundreds of thousands of citizen scientists into the future on reaching a shared mission of cleaner and healthier oceans. 

For more information about the AMDI and partnering opportunities please connect to us through the Tangaroa Blue website or our social media platforms.

Thank you