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Western Australia

2011 WA Beach Clean Up Is Only Days Away!

2011 WABCU FlyerThe 2011 WA Beach Clean Up is only days away and we have been inundated with volunteer registrations from Broome in the north, out to Christmas and Cocos Islands in the west, down to Augusta in the south west and Esperance in the south east and everywhere in-between! This year is looking to be a full state-wide beach clean up and we thank everyone who is planning to volunteer their time to get involved!

We've just got a couple of housekeeping points that we wanted to let you know before the event:

There is a 5-6m swell forecast to hit along WA's south and western shores over the weekend - we urge all site coordinators to check their local forecasts and do a site assessment before you start your clean ups to ensure that volunteers will be safe from severe erosion, large waves, swell and any storm surge on the beach and rocks. Our first priority for this event is everyone's safety and if you think that the conditions are not safe to do the clean up, please postpone your clean up till conditions improve. Also please make sure that the conditions are mentioned in your safety briefing to all volunteers - don't turn your back on the ocean, supervise children and keep an eye on conditions throughout the event.

Those of you who have received permission to take vehicles onto the beach for the event - also be aware of the large forecasted swell.

By now you should have received your clean up packs, please have a look through before the event to ensure that you have all paperwork, bags, gloves, sharps containers etc before the weekend. If you are missing anything please email me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0410166684 so we can get you anything that you need. Also have a look at our new and improved Data Sheet - if you become familiar with the categories before the event, it will make collecting information on what you find a lot easier on the day. We really urge all volunteers to fill this in and submit back to us - this is our evidence on the state of our oceans and is vital in getting changes made to help the stop of flow of rubbish into the ocean.

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"Bag It" Movie Comes to the South West!

2011 Bag ItEvery year more than 6 million tonnes of debris enters our oceans and waterways. This number is horrifying enough, but add to that the 276 species of marine animals and seabirds that are impacted through entanglement and ingestion of this debris, then we really start to see what our unsustainable reliance on one time use packaging and plastics are doing to our ocean environment.

To promote the 2011 WA Beach Clean Up event and highlight the threat of marine debris and what we can do to help prevent it, Heidi Taylor from Tangaroa Blue Foundation will be joining with Tim Silverwood from 'Take 3 – A Clean Beach Initiative' to showcase the documentary "Bag It" throughout WA's south west in the beginning of October.

The events are being coordinated by Debbie Thompson who runs One Earth, One Planet, a company promoting sustainable alternatives to conventional plastic packaging. Debbie is a long time supporter of the WA Beach Clean Up and of initiatives to reduce plastic pollution.

"Bag It" follows "everyman" Jeb Berrier as he tries to make sense of our dependence on plastic bags. Although his quest starts out small, Jeb soon learns that the problem extends past landfills to oceans, rivers and ultimately human health.

The film explores these issues and identifies how our daily reliance on plastic threatens not only waterways and marine life, but human health, too. Two of the most common plastic additives are endocrine disruptors, which have been shown to link to cancer, diabetes, autism, attention deficit disorder, obesity and infertility.

Join the wave of people who are working towards protecting our marine environment. Remember everyone can make a difference! What difference will you decide to make!

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2010 South West Marine Debris Project Report

2010 WABCUThis year's South West Beach Cleanup targeted sites between Albany on the south coast and Geraldton on the mid west coast. Additional cleanups were conducted further north at Kalbarri and Broome. Cleanups also went offshore to Rottnest Island. The cleanup was the culmination of a busy year of cleanups generating data from a wider geographical region, conducting plastic resin pellet surveys, providing education, presentations and participating in various events promoting marine environmental awareness.

Our formal regular monitoring programme on the capes coast has now expanded to include a south coast site and a west coast site and is being complimented with regular cleanups at additional sites around the coast. These ongoing regular monitoring activities provide important "seasonal" aspects to the data, and as can be seen below, our database is enabling both a broad picture for most of the coast and detailed information about a growing number of cleanup locations.

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2010 South West Beach Clean Up Data Is In!

2010 WABCUP1The threat of marine debris on the marine environment is well documented, but ways to stop the never ending flow of plastics into our marine environment have been hard to find, implement and enforce. So we are left with mitigation strategies involving the removal of debris from the coastline to prevent it from being washed back into the ocean rather than finding ways of stopping it from getting there in the first place. That's why the South West Beach Clean Up was created and now in its 6th year, the event is bigger than ever!

Over the weekend of October 9th & 10th the 2010 South West Beach Clean Up took place with over 720 volunteers cleaning up 90 coastal sites between Geraldton and Albany. The total amount of debris that was collected was staggering! More than 48,015 individual pieces of debris were removed weighing over 3,000kg! That's 48,015 threats that have been removed from the marine environment helping to protect the 267 species that are impacted by marine debris worldwide!

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Plastic Resin Pellets on the Western South Coast of Western Australian Report

2010 PelletsPlastic Resin Pellets are ubiquitous in the world's oceans. They are highly mobile and are classified as a member of the micro plastic fraction of marine debris. Size, mobility and capacity to absorb persistent (toxic) chemicals to their surface while in seawater give pellets a high harm potential. This survey is one of a series aimed at establishing some baseline information about plastic resin pellet distribution along theWest Australian coastline.

Download the report