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Marine Debris

18,000 pieces of plastic are estimated to float in every square kilometre of ocean.

633 species worldwide including 77 Australian species are impacted by marine debris.

Over 75% of what is removed from our beaches is made of plastic.

Tangaroa Blue Foundation is an Australian-wide not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the removal and prevention of marine debris, one of the major environmental issues worldwide. But if all we do is clean-up, that is all we will ever do.

To successfully solve the problem, the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) was created, an on-ground network of volunteers, communities and organisations that contribute data from rubbish collected during beach and river clean-up events to the AMDI Database, and then work on solutions to stop the flow of litter at the source. The AMDI helps communities look after their coastal environment by providing resources and support programs, and collaborates with industry and government to create change on a large scale.

In Maori and Polynesian mythology, Tangaroa is the god of the ocean. 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..." When, after a week-long clean-up event, the whales and dolphins come close to our beach and slap their flippers, we sometimes wonder if it is Tangaroa saying "thank you".

AMDI App User Video

With the launch of the new Australian Marine Debris Initiative data collection app (available on both Android and Apple), we've just created a short how-to-video to help you navigate your way through the data collection process! If you have any questions about the app just send us an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A big thanks to Jarrod & Craig from Streamline Media for producing our video, and Brett from We-Refill for the voiceover!

Cleaning up Beaches around Orpheus & Fantome Islands

201809 Orpheus1Tangaroa Blue Foundation and a team of 17 ambitious individuals set out from Lucinda towards Orpheus Island National Park with a mission to relieve sections of the windward stretch of coast from the burden of discarded and forgotten marine debris. Staying at the Orpheus Island Research Station from the 28th of September to the 1st of October 2018, the crew split up into groups to cover more coastline over the two days, accessing some sites by hiking trails or via water with Queensland Parks and Wildlife’s barge, the “Island Ranger”.

The group successfully cleared a total of 3.5 kilometers of coastline from 711kgs of marine debris that translates to a volume of 10,970 liters, where more than 80% of the haul was plastic!!

The year 2018 has hosted two Orpheus Island clean-up events where Tangaroa Blue has been able to collaborate with partners in the expansion of clean-up sites around the Goolboddi Islands. This past weekend the team targeted their existing sites at Pioneer, Fig Tree and Big Rock bays, in addition to two new sites at South Beach and Picnic Bay on Orpheus. They were also able to stretch out and step foot on the northern beach of Fantome Island for the first time, removing 210kgs of mostly light-weight plastics such as drink bottles and foam! Across just 600 meters, the team loaded up 4,200 liters from Fantome onto the Island Ranger for transportation to mainland for proper disposal.

Read more...

Intrepid Paddlers Raise Funds for Tangaroa Blue

Paddlers 1by Mathilde Gordon of Passage Adventures

We sat in our lounge room in Australia staring down at the 45 marine charts that showed our 2042km kayak expedition through the Inside Passage, and it was hard to even imagine what was in store for us. The 3-month journey would take us from Glacier Bay, North West of Juneau, through the island passages of Southeast Alaska and British Columbia, to the southern end of Vancouver Island. Only books and words from other kayakers could help us imagine what awaited us. From the moment we dipped our paddles into the icy waters of Glacier Bay, Alaska, we were challenged, awed and inspired. The expedition was everything we wanted, and more than we bargained for.

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Join us for the WA Marine Debris Project- Oct 13 & 14

WAMDP 18Join hundreds of volunteers across Western Australia, gathering to look after our beautiful coastlines, waterways and marine life.

Tangaroa Blue is calling on citizen scientists, schools, community groups, local governments and all ocean lovers to participate in the 2018 Marine Debris Project.

Formerly named the WA Beach Clean-up Event, our new name reflects the important role of data collection in the clean-up process.

The clean-up data you collect will help us track litter to its source and prevent it from entering the waste stream and harming our environment and marine life,

Step 1: Find a favourite beach, river or waterway that need's a clean-up and register your site. View the map of registered sites.

Step 2: Enlist your friends and family to help for a few hours at your clean-up event sometime over the October 13-14 weekend.

Step 3: Await your clean-up and data record kit delivery and follow the advice to get your team ready for action!

Step 4: On the day, collect and audit marine debris, record data for upload later or use the new AMDI data app to record directly into Tangaroa Blue Australian Marine Debris Database

Register now!

Tangaroa Blue Foundation would like to thank Keep Australia Beautiful WA, Department of Parks and Wildlife and local government authorities around the state, as well as our corporate partners Two Fins, Wodup and Savvy Jerky plus all the amazing volunteers for their ongoing support on this annual event.

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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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Upcoming Clean Up Events

Did you know?

Since 2004 Tangaroa Blue volunteers and partners have been hard at work cleaning our beaches!

  • Number of clean-up sites: 2,791
  • Number of volunteers: 120,204
  • Number of tonnes removed: 988 tonnes
  • Number of items removed: 12,017,220 items
  • Number of volunteer hours: 306,610 hours
  • Number of clean-ups: 13,110