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Queensland

ReefBlitz comes to Cape Kimberley!

201610 Cape KimberleyOctober is a huge month for citizen science activities along Queensland's Great Barrier Reef, with the 2016 ReefBlitz event inviting people from Brisbane to Port Douglas to get involved in a massive Great Barrier Reef health check! From activities monitoring coral, manta rays, mangroves and marine debris everyone can get involved!

Tangaroa Blue's first ReefBlitz event was held on October 8th at our quarterly Cape Kimberley marine debris monitoring clean-up. This stretch of beach has been cleaned and data collected every three months since 2010 when a massive 800kg would regularly be removed from this 3km stretch of national park.

This time Tangaroa Blue volunteers were super surprised and excited to see that only 101kg of marine debris and plastic pollution had been washed up! Our smallest load since this site had been monitored!

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Join a ReefBlitz event in October!

ReefBlitz Instagram 5In the wake of the Great Barrier Reef’s worst coral bleaching event, people who love the Reef can sign up to become a ‘scientist for a day’ in October to help improve understanding of the Reef’s current status.

The Great Barrier Reef Foundation’s month-long ReefBlitz will engage people power to capture the biggest ever snapshot of Great Barrier Reef health and life powered by citizen science from 1 to 31 October.

Minister for National Parks & the Great Barrier Reef Dr Steven Miles welcomed the expansion of ReefBlitz to cover the whole GBR, from coast to coral, across a month-long program of citizen science activities.

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The Saga of Captain Billie Flint

Report by John Wheldon Tangaroa Blue crew member

Black Cockatoo 1My brother Matt and I were driving west from Lakeland on another Tangaroa Blue expedition, approximately half way to Laura when we noticed a black cockatoo flailing about in the long weeds and grasses, ducking from the attacks of a predatory hawk, so we decided to save it.

Matt said to just "go for it", but I looked at him as if to say "so you want me to get bitten?", so I grabbed a blue t-shirt ready to throw over the bird. As I got closer I realised that this was a very large bird with a very large beak, and it obviously had an injured wing. I threw the t-shirt over the bird's back and folded its wings together as I was saying in calming tones "it’s all right, I’m not going to hurt you". As I picked it up I was acutely aware of its sharp beak that was trying to bite something but my fingers were safely out of the way.

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The Big, Long, Wide Beach Clean-up

Report by Tangaroa Blue volunteers Gabriele Kullack and Michelle Renshaw

Mapoon 2016This year 12 volunteers from Tasmania, South Australia, ACT and QLD, joined the Tangaroa Blue team for the Mapoon Beach Clean-up in the Gulf of Carpentaria. The team spent 5 days at the end of July picking up and processing marine debris from a 10km stretch of 150m wide beach with few trees and cloudless blue skies. We counted over 50,000 individual items of which almost a tenth were single-use drink bottles from Australia and South East Asia but principally from Indonesia.

Over the last 3 years all clean-up sites on the east coast of Cape York Peninsula have shown a drop of up to 50% in the total weight of debris and we were interested to see if the same trend extended to the west coast.

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Beach Combing Cape York Style

2016 Chilli 1Report by Tangaroa Blue Crew Member Vanessa Carey.

The road to Cape York was red dirt against a bright blue sky, heading northbound to Chilli Beach for a five-day clean-up event within the Iron Range (Kutini-Payamu) National Park. On our arrival the location was welcoming but the weather displayed an unhappiness. The skies were grey of clouds filled with rain, the wind constantly roared and the waves never stopped. Perhaps it was Tangaroa’s (the god of the ocean) reaction to the marine debris scattered across the beach, vulnerable to being swept back out to sea.

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