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Queensland

QLD Communities Stopping at the Source

Gladstone18Gladstone & Agnes Waters

With the support of Gladstone Regional Council and the Australian Government, Tangaroa Blue delivered two Marine Debris Source Reduction workshops in the Gladstone region on 30 and 31 May.

The Agnes Workshop was co-hosted by the Discovery Coast Environment Group and 11 participants and have developed some great collaborative strategies to bring their plans for a single use plastic-free community to life.

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Exploring Orpheus Island

2018 Orpheus 3Tangaroa Blue Foundation and a team of 13 dedicated volunteers set out from Lucinda towards Orpheus Island National Park from the 24th to 28th of April 2018, with a mission to relieve sections of the windward stretch of coast from the burden of discarded and forgotten marine debris.

The team traversed eastward over the island’s peak with anticipation to find the stony beaches coated in a rainbow of marine debris, but on arrival were surprised to find only 205kg on Fig Tree and Big Rock Bays when only six months ago these beaches were smothered by 690kg!

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NQ Dry Tropics full of activity

Townsville 2018Over the month of March, Tangaroa Blue, along with partners and dedicated community members in the Townsville and Burdekin region, completed five clean-ups to celebrate Clean-up Australia Day and carry out projects supported by NQ Dry Tropics through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program. The team of 74 participants to Townsville removed 175kg from the local shorelines and 19 Alva Beach locals added an extra 190kg from their beach.

The coast from Townsville to the Burdekin in North Queensland is lined with marine habitats that support entire ecosystems and wildlife that are vulnerable and endangered. To protect and conserve this critical habitat, clean-ups stretched from Shelly Cove to Pallarenda, to the waterways of Ross River that run out to Cleveland Bay, and further south to Alva Beach where the SS Yongala sunk offshore, becoming a famous dive site and a magnificent life-supporting ocean oasis. 

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TerraCycle giving new life to debris

2017 BalingHave you ever wondered where all the plastics end up from the remote Tangaroa Blue clean-up events? After we sort, categorise, count and weigh all the items removed from the beach, Tangaroa Blue thoughtfully disposes of all the rubbish. We try and keep as much away from landfill as possible, saving some for artists to make amazing creations, and recycling where we can.

Our friends at TerraCycle have made that job so much easier. TerraCycle takes really hard to recycle plastics, think degraded brittle bits found on beaches – and turns it into materials and products that can be used again – creating a circular economy for what was once waste!

From the last two years, over 40 metric tonnes of plastic rubbish was collected and bailed during our Cape York clean-ups, at the end of 2017 a full shipping container was sent to TerraCycle for a new life. To see it for yourself, check out the video here. It’s partnerships like these that are the heart of the Australian Marine Debris Initiative, everyone working together to reduce plastic in our oceans.

Plastic makes corals 20 times more susceptible to disease

Tangaroa Blue Coral BottleResearch published today in the journal “Science” indicates that contact with plastic can make corals more than 20 times more susceptible to disease, and that there are more than 11 billion pieces of plastic debris on coral reefs across the Asia-Pacific. The study examined more than 124,000 reef-building corals and found that 89% of corals with trapped plastic had visual signs of disease - a marked increase from the 4% chance of a coral having disease without plastic.

In 2016 AIMS published “Identification, impacts, and prioritisation of emerging contaminants present in the GBR and Torres Strait marine environments” which suggested that marine plastic pollution was the number one emerging threat to certain marine ecosystems along the Great Barrier Reef.

With the current investment in the health of the GBR announced over the last week, which did not include any funding or focus on marine debris and plastic pollution, we would like to highlight the importance of acknowledging the significant threat that marine debris, and in particular plastic pollution, poses to building the long term resilience of the Great Barrier Reef.

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