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Marine Debris

18,000 pieces of plastic are estimated to float in every square kilometre of ocean.

633 species worldwide including 77 Australian species are impacted by marine debris.

Over 75% of what is removed from our beaches is made of plastic.

Tangaroa Blue Foundation is an Australian-wide not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the removal and prevention of marine debris, one of the major environmental issues worldwide. But if all we do is clean-up, that is all we will ever do.

To successfully solve the problem, the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) was created, an on-ground network of volunteers, communities and organisations that contribute data from rubbish collected during beach and river clean-up events to the AMDI Database, and then work on solutions to stop the flow of litter at the source. The AMDI helps communities look after their coastal environment by providing resources and support programs, and collaborates with industry and government to create change on a large scale.

In Maori and Polynesian mythology, Tangaroa is the god of the ocean. 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..." When, after a week-long clean-up event, the whales and dolphins come close to our beach and slap their flippers, we sometimes wonder if it is Tangaroa saying "thank you".

Balloons Blow NSW to LHI

Balloons on LHIArticle by: Karen Joynes from No Balloon Release Australia.

A bunch of four helium-filled balloons was released from an event in Western Sydney in early July. By August 2nd, they had travelled 800 kilometres to litter a beach at Lord Howe Island, a World Heritage Area.

Three weeks later, No Balloon Release Australia has had no response from representations made to the NSW EPA or from NSW and Federal Ministers for the Environment.

No Balloon Release Australia was conceived in 2016 to promote a petition for a national ban on the release of balloons and the use of helium to inflate balloons. It connects the many individuals and groups around the country advocating for no helium balloon releases.

The environmental impact of balloons is no longer doubted. They are considered one of three major threats to marine wildlife by CSIRO, and were mentioned in the Draft Threat Abatement Plan into the impact of marine debris on vertebrate marine life (TAP).

The formal petition, presented to the House of Representatives earlier this year, elicited a less than satisfactory response from Minister Frydenberg. He referred to the TAP and refocusing anti-litter campaigns but did not address the petition’s request.

The same petition on Change.org has nearly 7,000 signatures, yet there has been no further response.

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Record Breaking and Back Breaking Chilli Beach Clean-up!

20170817 Chilli Beach 1Tangaroa Blue Foundation breaks its own record for the largest amount of marine debris removed during a single beach clean-up event.

Over 5 days, 40 people cleared a massive 7 tonnes of marine debris from 6.7km of coastline on Chilli Beach, Kutini-Payamu National Park in Cape York.

Tangaroa Blue Foundation CEO Heidi Taylor states "It’s a testament to what can be achieved by a dedicated team with a united effort to keep our oceans clean. Not only did the volunteer team remove marine debris from the beach, but they recorded data on everything that was collected which is vital to provide evidence that informs policy making and strategies which tackle marine debris at the source."

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Operation Clean Sweep Australia

Preventing marine debris is all about stopping it at the source. We are proud to have launched Operation Clean Sweep in Australia and would like to share with you our latest video showcasing how one of the first companies to sign up to the program in Australia has implemented it into their operations. A huge thank you to Co-Ex Films, Streamline Media Australia, the Victorian Government's Litter Hotspot Program and the Western Australian Government’s State Natural Resource Management Program WA.

Waste & marine debris in remote northern Australian communities

NESPMany Cape York Peninsula (CYP) communities are growing in size, receiving increasing numbers of visitors, and dealing with increasing marine debris washing up on their beaches. A Northern Hub project investigated municipal waste and marine debris management issues in three communities. Tangaroa Blue along with Cape York AMDI partners were able to contribute data and information to assist in this research project. 

See the Publications Tab at: http://www.nespnorthern.edu.au/projects/nesp/waste-and-marine-debris-in-remote-northern-australian-communities/

Final Report - http://www.nespnorthern.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Waste-marine-debris-final-report.pdf

Factsheet - http://www.nespnorthern.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Waste-marine-debris-wrap-up-factsheet.pdf

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Upcoming Clean Up Events

Did you know?

Since 2004 Tangaroa Blue volunteers and partners have been hard at work cleaning our beaches!

  • Number of clean-up sites: 2 106
  • Number of volunteers: 86 294
  • Number of tonnes removed: 795 tonnes
  • Number of items removed: 8 548 652 items
  • Number of volunteer hours: 213 196 hours
  • Number of clean-ups: 9 762