What a start to the year! Tangaroa Blue volunteers and crew members have been busy working across the country from the Cocos Keeling Islands in the Indian Ocean, down to mangrove surveys in southern NSW, 2017 is off to a flying start. And we won't stop there, plans are underway for this year's Cape York clean-up events! Check out our online calendar for more event details.
Tangaroa 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'.
This year just under 1,800 volunteers came together across 138 beach locations to remove more than 88,880 items of rubbish from our coastline as part of the 2016 West Australian Beach Clean-up. Some of the more interesting finds made around the state include half a canoe found near the Margaret River mouth, a couch found in the dunes at Leighton Beach, a brand-new selfie stick picked up on remote Deepdene Beach, black plastic resin pellets found along the North Fremantle foreshore of the Swan River, and over 500 straws found during a clean-up on the Jindalee foreshore. Big sections of rope have been found washed up along the more remote sections of coastline in the south west, and many rope fragments and microplastics have been found littering the beaches.
The West Australian Beach Clean-up received funding from the West Australian Government’s State NRM Program, supported by Royalties for Regions. Tangaroa Blue Foundation would also like to thank Keep Australia Beautiful WA, WA Department of Fisheries, Department of Parks and Wildlife and local government authorities around the state, as well as all the amazing volunteers for their ongoing support for this annual event.
With the support of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority through Reef Trust, Tangaroa Blue has been working behind the scenes to update the Australian Marine Debris Database, and will be bringing the new version online soon!
The new version will be going live in late April or May. We will notify you of the exact date closer to the time. You will need to register as a new user when you first access the new version of the AMDI Database. Below are some of the changes and some suggestions on preparing to use the new version.
Towards the end of March a group of volunteers joined Tangaroa Blue crew members, Keep Australia Beautiful Council and the Department of Environment Regulation WA for the first Indian Ocean Territories Marine Debris Project event. The team spent one week on both Cocos Keeling Islands and Christmas Island where we worked with local community members, school students, council representatives and businesses on a series of beach clean-up and data collection activities. To find out what we found, check out the Cocos Keeling Islands and Christmas Island event wrap-ups. Thanks to everyone who participated and to the local communities for making us all feel so welcome! See you next year!
Cape York 2017 dates
For those of you looking for an adventure of a lifetime, Tangaroa Blue will be heading back up to Cape York during the 2017 winter season. These clean-ups are annual events, and go towards helping the Australian Marine Debris Initiative identify where debris is coming from in one of Australia's worst marine debris hotpots. If you'd like to join us for one of our 5 day beach clean-up events, registrations are now open! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a registration form and information. All events depart from Cairns/Mossman QLD:
Don't forget that we have an array of Tangaroa Blue merchandise, plastic-free living ideas, marine debris art supplies and clean-up gear all available for purchase at the Tangaroa Blue Sea Store. Great for 'walking the walk' of a plastic-free lifestyle, or a unique gift for someone you know. All proceeds go to our Australian Marine Debris Initiative activities across the country. And for those that have everything, Tangaroa Blue Foundation has DGR status (donations over $2 are 100% tax deductible), so donations are always appreciated!
A huge thank you to everyone for their support! The AMDI Database has just ticked over 7.8 million items that have been collected by 77 704 citizen scientists and partners from 2212 sites across Australia! What an amazing effort in keeping our beautiful beaches and rivers clean! Even better, it provides the evidence that is needed to push for change that prevents marine debris and plastic pollution by stopping it at the source!