18,000 pieces of plastic are estimated to float in every square kilometre of ocean.
276 species worldwide including 77 Australian species are impacted by marine debris.
Tangaroa Blue Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation focused on the health of our marine environment, and coordinates the Australian Marine Debris Initiative, an on-ground network of volunteers, communities, organisations and agencies around the country monitoring the impacts of marine debris along their stretch of coastline.
In Maori and Polynesian mythology, Tangaroa is one of the great gods, the god of the ocean. He is the son of Ranginui and Papatuanuku, Sky and Earth. Tangaroa is the father of many sea creatures and his breaths are the tides. Tangaroa made laws to protect the ocean and its sea creatures "Tiaki mai i ahau, maku ano koe e tiaki"... If you look after me, then I will look after you..."
The organisation was named Tangaroa Blue Foundation to highlight the importance of protecting our oceans and creating programs and resources to help communities look after their local coastal environment.
Eleven outstanding winners were announced in the 2014 National Landcare Awards in Melbourne on September 18th, and Tangaroa Blue Foundation was honoured by winning the Coastcare Category for the Australian Marine Debris Initiative!
The Awards ceremony took place during a gala dinner and also featured the presentation of the prestigious National Landcare People's Choice Award – voted for by the public from amongst the impressive 69 finalists in the National Landcare Awards, and the Bob Hawke Landcare Award.
Almost 800 people packed Melbourne's Royal Exhibition Building for the biennial celebration, which was hosted by Landcare ambassador, Catriona Rowntree, and included speeches from former Prime Minister, the Hon. Bob Hawke AC, Senator Bridget McKenzie, and the Hon. Ryan Smith, Victorian Minister for Environment and Climate Change.
Eight intrepid people traveled up north to clean the remote west side beach of Mapoon in Cape York for the 2014 Mapoon Clean-up. It was a three-day journey up to see sights, five hard working days for the clean-up, and another three-day journey back to Cairns. Tangaroa Blue with Conservation Volunteers Australia and support from the Mapoon Land and Sea Rangers smashed out cleaning 7.5km of beach and getting a whopping 3 tonnes of marine debris.
From morning to sundown they persevered to pick up, sort, and catalog debris. Their efforts redirected seven large silo bags of plastics and 41 rubbish size bags of glass and metal for recycling. They even processed thousands of clear plastic bottles so they can be made into new Bionic Yarn that will be made into denim.
The Queensland Police Service is urging beach goers to avoid handling silver canisters washed up on beaches and to immediately call Triple Zero (000) to report them to authorities.
Since October 2012, a number of canisters similar to that pictured have washed up on beaches along the entire east coast of Australia from Thursday Island to the north and Tasmania to the south.
The most recent incident was today, with a member of the public handing in a canister containing Aluminium Phosphide to the Smithfield Police Station.
The canisters are described as being approximately 30 cm high and 15 cm in diameter and contain Aluminium Phosphide, which could be fatal if inhaled or ingested.
Aluminium Phosphide is a colourless, flammable and toxic gas. Mild exposure by inhalation causes indefinite feeling of sickness, ringing in the ears, fatigue, nausea and pressure in the chest which is relieved by getting away from the gas and getting fresh air.
The chemical, when exposed to air or moisture, can generate the highly toxic phosphine gas that could also self ignite in the right conditions. It is not known where these canisters originate from.
If you locate one of these canisters, or any similar type of container, leave the canister where it is and do not attempt to move it.
Police urge you to call Triple Zero '000' immediately to report the discovery to trained QFES Hazchem officers. Do not attempt to move or open these canisters.
More than 150,000,000 pieces of rubbish are strewn upon Australia's beaches, big news considering more than 80% of Australians live within 100km of the coast. Alarmed by this overwhelming statistic, Phoenix Organics has joined forces with Tangaroa Blue Foundation and Sustainable Coastlines to create The Love Project. This project aims to empower Aussies to vote and help clean up and protect our much-loved coastlines.
Australians can visit Phoenix's Facebook page to vote for the beach they love the most and would like to keep clean. The Phoenix Love Project has contributed $40,000 to Sustainable Coastlines and Tangaroa Blue Foundation to complete beach cleanup projects over the summer months.