Marine Debris

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.

Washed Ashore Jill Chism with Tangaroa Blue Volunteers

Jill Chism1LThis work is created in collaboration with Tangaroa Blue, an Australia-wide marine debris clean-up organisation, which relies almost entirely on volunteer participation. Washed Ashore highlights the excessive quantities of marine debris now accumulating on Australian beaches and encourages individuals to take action.

The use of blended colours mimics our initial attraction to products, which soon turns into waste/repulsion. It is also now understood that the massive pile up of garbage in the oceans currents (some of these twice as big as Texas such as The Great Pacific Garbage Patch) breaks down to become micro particles that are consumed by plankton to become part of the food chain . In this way we are consuming our own plastic waste while changing forever the make-up of the natural environment.

This work is an encouragement to do something positive about the situation. Each individuals actions becomes a powerful collective response, as can be seen by the work achieved by the organisation Tangaroa Blue.


Vote for your Favourite Beach!

PhoenixWant to help protect our beautiful coastlines? Join Tangaroa Blue & Phoenix Drinks by voting for your favourite beach and we could be heading there this summer to give it some TLC!

The beach in Australia and another beach in New Zealand who gets the most votes will have a beach clean-up organised by Tangaroa Blue, Sustainable Coastlines and Phoenix Drinks this summer. So if you know a beach that could do with some TLC vote today!



Palm Island students protect the Great Barrier Reef

Palm Island2More than 60 students and teachers from Bwgcolman Community School and St Michael's Catholic School, Palm Island swapped the classroom for the beach as they learnt about how local environmental actions can protect the Great Barrier Reef.

The day-long activities were part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's (GBRMPA) annual Future Leaders Eco Challenges that raise awareness about how activities on the land can affect the marine environment.

Future Leaders Eco Challenges are about students acting local but thinking global when it comes to addressing threats to the Reef.
GBRMPA Acting Reef Guardian School Program Manager Carolyn Luder said during the day students learnt about marine debris, conducted a clean-up at front beach and analysed what type of rubbish they found.


St Bernard's Back on the Great Ocean Road

201408 Santa MonicaSt Bernard's have been at it again, once a month for the last three months we have been taking 28, 14 &15 year old boys down along a stretch of beach on the Great Ocean Rd in Victoria. Once there, we split into two groups and walk for about 3.5 km picking up every bit of rubbish we came across. Anything from car tyres to monomers of plastic. With the focus being on Tangaroa Blue and what they are doing with the information, the boys don't complain about picking up the rubbish, most enjoy the experience and even check the website to see the photos. Our beach is cleaner and the boys are learning about the environment. Win win I say!


The Australian Marine Debris Initiative is a way that everyone can become involved in both the removal of marine debris and finding solutions to stop the flow of rubbish into our oceans.

Australian Marine Debris Initiative Logo



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What's been collected on your beach?

Check out what has been found by volunteers on beaches around Australia!

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