The Tangaroa Blue Foundation identified Chilli Beach in Far North Queensland as a marine debris hotspot, with approximately 5 tonnes being removed every year. Part of a source reduction plan was to install a marine debris information sign at the beach explaining that the site is a hotspot and impacted by marine debris washing in from both international and domestic sources, but very little from the local area. Rangers are also equipped with clean-up bags enabling people to carry out beach clean-ups during their stay. Participants are asked to inform the rangers of the weight collected and to return the bags; they can also input their data directly into the Tangaroa Blue Foundation’s online database.
Spreading awareness is an essential part in the battle against marine debris. Earlier in 2015 one of the hot spots in Cape York, Chilli Beach on the east coast, had a sign put up to inform tourists and locals about the topic. Now, the Mapoon Back Beach on the west side of the peninsula received its own signage, placed at two strategic camp sites.
In cooperation with the Mapoon Aboriginal Council and the Mapoon Land and Sea Rangers, Tangaroa Blue Foundation uses the sign to explain how much debris is removed from this beach every year, how much effort is put into the removal and how visitors can do their part to help: Dispose of your rubbish at the nearest tip and what can be recycled at the ranger station. And if you want to do more and contribute to the Australian Marine Debris Database grab a bag from the rangers to collect some extra rubbish and good karma.
Volunteers collected and reported more than 67,000 litter items from around Townsville and Magnetic Island, from 2008 to 2017. The items here are regularly reported through the Tangaroa Blue Foundation’s Australian Marine Debris Initiative Database.
Thankyou to those who lent a hand at any one of the clean-up events, to those who pick up rubbish even when it isnt theirs, and to everyone striving to reduce their waste through daily steps. Good work to you all!
This infographic was created by Reef Check Australia by Lolo TR with the following partners: National Landcare Programme, Townsville City Council, NQ Dry Tropics NRM, Tangaroa Blue Foundation, Conservation Volunteers Australia and Reef Check Australia.
You can download a copy of this pdf here – it’s a great tool for communities to identify what is impacting their local environment and a starting point for a source reduction plan!
Visitors to the Blue Holes along WA’s south coast can do their bit to help the marine environment, thanks to an initiative by the Nornalup Residents and Ratepayers Association.
A sign fixed to the old school bus stop on the corner of Station Road and Bellanger Road, Nornalup, reads: “Help keep the Blue Holes blue.”
Beachgoers are invited to take a Keep Australia Beautiful bag to Bellanger Beach (Blue Holes) to collect flotsam and jetsam and other non-organic waste and leave the bag inside the bus stop on their return.
The rubbish will be collected periodically and taken to the Peaceful Bay tip.
NRRA Vice-President Philip Powell said: “Beachgoers may have been reluctant to pick up rubbish because of the inconvenience of where to dispose of it, as there has never been a bin at the beach entrance. But now that has become easier.”