Tangaroa Blue Foundation has an international network of volunteers and partners who collaborate with Tangaroa Blue Foundation through the Australian Marine Debris Initiative.
The AMDI network has introduced us to some of the most passionate, inspirational and dedicated people on the planet who have honoured us by agreeing to accept the title of Tangaroa Blue Ambassador.
Our Ambassadors are based around the world and are true role models and leaders in their communities and networks, making a positive impact on the health of our environment and inspiring others to do the same.
Bernadette Davis (aka Flea)
Bernadette’s passion for protecting the ocean comes from a lifetime of living close to the sea, exploring our coastline and searching out her favourite surf breaks. With over 20 years of experience in environmental education with Local Government, she lives on the south coast of NSW where she works as an environmental officer with AMDI Partner, Eurobodalla Shire Council.
Alongside that, Bernadette co-founded 'Ekipa Tasi Mos Atauro' in Timor Leste where she travels to the island regularly to continue her work there. She also designs the most exquisite baskets and lampshades that are handwoven from rope recovered from all her clean-ups (view Castaway Textiles Instagram page). Bernadette says, "I've been a long-time textile tinkerer, so it was a natural progression to use marine debris to assist in raising the issue of threats to our oceans."
Owen is a very passionate young Wildlife Warrior. He might only be eight years old but he sure packs huge passion and dedication into that little human. He loves everything to do with wildlife and he wants to do all he can to help protect them. He says "Wildlife can't protect themselves so we need to protect them".
For Owen, everything is an adventure, so he decided he wanted to start 'Owen's Wildlife Adventures' to try and share his passion and hopefully inspire others to follow suit and help him make a difference. While Owen was happy to spread the message he soon realised he wanted to have even more impact and decided to start his very own kid's environmental group. This was the start of the Cap Coast Eco Warriors, a kids environmental group aiming to give kids a voice and give them the opportunity to learn all about the various different aspects of conservation and what they can do to make a difference.
Owen believes everyone can make a difference no matter how small and he is showing us all that there are no limits and that even the littlest ones amongst us can help.
Owen collects a lot of rubbish and also records the information in the AMDI Database so that he can contribute to stopping this whole issue at the source. Owen is very proud to be part of the Tangaroa Blue and ReefClean crew. He wants his kids to be able to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef and see fish, sharks and turtles and not just plastic floating around. So on all trips away, every walk on the beach, Owen picks up rubbish. Seeing all the marine debris on a recent Cape York trip made him realise even more just how urgently we need to stop polluting this planet.
In his spare time, he loves nothing more than saving sea turtles.
Poppy has had a passion for the ocean from a young age and, inspired by the work of Tangaroa Blue and the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warrior program, she started her own monthly beach clean-up in November 2017. Calling the group Visionary Ocean Warriors, a spin-off from the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warrior program, Poppy’s focus was removing marine debris and in turn protecting endangered marine life.
Since the group's inception in late 2017 Poppy has shown her commitment to the cause by monitoring the chosen site at Golden Beach on the Sunshine Coast, each month, engaging volunteers, and collating the debris into the Australian Marine Debris Initiative. To date, she has entered 11,000 pieces of debris, totaling 183 kilos, and engaging 288 volunteers, with the help and commitment of friends and participants of the beach clean-ups.
Poppy spreads the message for refusing single-use plastic and protecting the oceans with fundraising efforts, producing hand-printed 'Plastic Free Sea’ t-shirts and handmade bracelets, using the monies from the sales to fundraise for Tangaroa Blue.
From a young age, Poppy always loved swimming, and spent many years competitively swimming in her region, and spending time at the beach. Poppy aspires to become a marine biologist, stating “I am interested in the ocean because it hasn’t been totally discovered, it’s pretty cool with all the creatures living in it, especially sharks.”
Elijah first went snorkelling when he was around five years old. It was then that he first saw the beauty of the underwater world. He also realised how litter and marine debris could impact the Great Barrier Reef and marine life.
Since then, Elijah has been attending clean ups and organising his own to help reduce the impact of marine debris.
In an effort to spread his message to clean up marine debris, Elijah has also given talks to local youth groups and attended stands at local community events to encourage others to play their part in looking after the ocean and its marine life.
Elijah is passionate about his role as a Tangaroa Blue ambassador and is clear in his aims: clean up as much as he can, encourage other people to clean up and to reduce their use of plastics.
He is promoting his actions on Instagram and Facebook, and taking opportunities to share his message through other social media pages, local radio, and newspapers to encourage everyone to play their part in protecting our natural world.