10 601 Plastic Bottles Sitting on Mapoon Beach

201701 MapoonFrom Monday 10th July until Friday 14th July, a small army of Tangaroa Blue volunteers ran an impressive clean-up mission set against the stunning backdrop of Back Beach, Mapoon in Cape York.

The team comprised 14 volunteers including some local regulars, others who travelled interstate from as far as Christmas Island and a team from the Clean4Shore program and Macmasters Beach Surf Club in central NSW. Tangaroa Blue worked in conjunction with the Traditional Owners of the land and were lent a great deal of help by the Mapoon Land & Sea Rangers. Working side by side the Indigenous Rangers was a particularly rewarding aspect of the operation for many of the volunteers.

In five warm and windy days, the joint effort clocked 6.7 kilometres of beach, amassing a staggering 2.2 tonnes of debris. The big ticket item was quite clearly plastic drink bottles. The 10 601 bottles retrieved accounted for nearly a quarter of the total items collected; the main culprit being the Indonesian water brand Aqua, which totalled 3875 bottles alone. Many of the volunteers have vowed never to purchase plastic drink bottles again.

Other notable statistics include the collection of 5607 pieces of polystyrene foam, 2823 thongs and 1436 cigarette lighters.

Tangaroa Blue would like to thank the Traditional Owners as well as the community of Mapoon for allowing them to continue their clean-up and data collection efforts in Cape York. Thanks also goes to the Australian Government's Improving Your Local Parks and Environment Grant, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and the Australian Border Force for their ongoing support.

Report by volunteer Tim Sillato.

Blown Away at Captain Billy's

CBL EH9Roaring South Westerlies, exfoliating sand dunes, tent dramas, shower deprivation and crocodile proximity, could not decrease the enthusiasm of a truly international group of volunteers, at a five day beach clean-up, held recently at Captain Billy's Landing, on eastern Cape York Peninsula.

Participants from Tasmania, tropical North Queensland, Holland and Switzerland, joined Tangaroa Blue founder Heidi, partner extraordinaire Matt, NPARC / Apudthama Indigenous Rangers and Traditional Owners, in the removal of almost 2 tonnes of rubbish, from 10km of beach along this wild and beautiful coastal location.


Archer Point Clean-up

2017 Archer PointJust over 300km north of Cairns is the township of Cooktown – named after explorer Captain James Cook. About 20km before you reach Cooktown is a place called Archer Point. The Yuku Baja Muliku people are the Traditional Custodians of Archer Point, an area covering 22,500 hectares, which encompasses the Annan River and the beach camping site of Archer Point.

The Yuku Baja Muliku (YBM) Land & Sea Ranger program has been established since 2008, and they care for the land and sea by implementing conservation strategies. These Rangers act as mentors for the children of the local area through their Junior Ranger Program.


Rowes Bay Clean-up

Rowes BayVolunteers who attended today's clean-up collected 27kg of litter, marine debris and recyclables from Soroptimist Park and Rowe's Bay beachfront in Townsville.

The amount of rubbish removed was the size of a grown dugong, which only live just off our local coastlines! Thank you to the two families of 4 who helped Tangaroa Blue Foundation clean-up for the safety of local aquatic animals.

Acknowledgments go out to State Land Management under the Department of Natural Resources and Mines for allowing this event to take place on their land and for the employees who came out as volunteers with their family.

This project was funded by NQ Dry Tropics through the National Landcare Programme.

Vietnamese Debris Links to Illegal Fishing Vessels

Thach Bich 2Tangaroa Blue Foundation provided information to both the Northern Australian Quarantine Strategy and the Australian Border Force (ABF) after hundreds of Vietnamese water bottles were documented during the 2016 Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) events in Cape York.

As part of Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI), volunteers not only record how many of each item has been found during beach/river clean-ups, but also any brand and barcode information that might be on the item to help track it back to the source.

Heidi Taylor, Managing Director of Tangaroa Blue Foundation said, 'We have been working with local communities, volunteers, Indigenous Rangers and AMDI partners on large scale, remote beach clean-up events in Cape York since 2011, so we have pretty comprehensive database on what regularly washes up along this section of coast. We were able to quickly identify several Vietnamese water bottle brands that we had never seen before, that were washing up in large numbers, and were very new, with expiry dates of 2017 on the labels. This indicated to us a source that was close by, and that these bottles had definitely not floated from Vietnam'.