Mapoon Beach Clean-up

2018 MapoonCape York is the peninsula of far north Queensland and is the largest unspoiled environment in northern Australia. It’s filled with remote beaches, diverse landscape and endemic wildlife, with stunning sunsets and sunrises, and an endless turquoise ocean to gaze out upon.

Despite the area’s beauty, the remote beaches are unfortunately hotspots for tonnes of marine debris washing in with the currents, winds and tides, from our own country and others. Eight years ago, Tangaroa Blue Foundation initiated the Cape York Clean-up Tour, covering both the east and west coast of the peninsula, involving a group of volunteers, partners and Traditional Owners.

From July 14th to 22nd 2018, the Tangaroa Blue team spent a total of four days driving on the corrugated roads passing through Lakefield National Park and making the tourist stops at Split Rock, lookouts, roadhouses and small communities to reach their destination. Over the five days at Mapoon Beach, the team of 13 set up camp at Cullen Point where the clean-up began with the group working southbound onto Mapoon Back Beach covering a distance of 5.4 kilometres.

An additional 9 participants camped at the south end at Janie Creek, putting 11km of beach between us and worked northbound for 2.8 kilometres. Mapoon is a tough beach, it’s 11 kilometres long and 500 metres wide, the marine debris spreads across the width of it, and it gets quite hot, also making the sand very soft to walk on.

Despite the conditions the amazing crew were still able to cover 8.2 kilometres, only missing a 3-kilometre patch, which marks the starting point for 2019’s clean-up crew, and separates the data sets for Mapoon Back Beach and Janie Creek in the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) Database.


Local Groups band together to take care of our place

2018 GKIIt was all hands on deck aboard Freedom Fast Cat’s Freedom Flyer, for a day spent tackling marine debris on some of the more hard to access beaches around Great Keppel Island.

The day that was funded by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Community Grants and Livingstone Shire Council was also supported by Max Allen and the team at Freedom Fast Cats.

Representatives from eight local groups including Woppaburra Traditional Owners, Capricornia Catchments, Capricorn Coast Landcare, GenYadaba, Friends of Lammermoor Native Gardens, The Surfrider Foundation, Plastic Bag Free Livingstone, Greening Australia, and The Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland along with a number of individuals collected more than 4200 pieces of marine debris from local beaches. The haul that totalled nearly 300kgs included some unusual items including a bar fridge, plastic 44 gallon drum, whole wooden pallets, right down to tiny plastic astronaut toys.

Photo credit: Malcolm Wells


Another successful adventure at Chilli Beach

2018 Chilli Beach1Chilli Beach is picture perfect, an iconic tropical postcard, its a long white beach lined with palm trees swaying in the wind and fallen coconuts, with views of offshore islands and an endless blue world to gaze out upon. The nights brought peaceful sounds of the wind, rolling waves and sometimes sprouts of rain as well as wildlife visitors, while the mornings were filled with bird songs and colourful sunrises.

Chilli Beach was a great site to camp out for the week, but the reason Tangaroa Blue Foundation and volunteers along with Clean Coast Collective, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Rangers, Land and Trust Rangers, Traditional Owners and Lockhart State School students, collaborated for the eighth year in a row, was because Chilli Beach is a marine debris hotspot and an environmentally significant location that needs protection.


QLD Communities Stopping at the Source

Gladstone18Gladstone & Agnes Waters

With the support of Gladstone Regional Council and the Australian Government, Tangaroa Blue delivered two Marine Debris Source Reduction workshops in the Gladstone region on 30 and 31 May.

The Agnes Workshop was co-hosted by the Discovery Coast Environment Group and 11 participants and have developed some great collaborative strategies to bring their plans for a single use plastic-free community to life.


Exploring Orpheus Island

2018 Orpheus 3Tangaroa Blue Foundation and a team of 13 dedicated volunteers set out from Lucinda towards Orpheus Island National Park from the 24th to 28th of April 2018, with a mission to relieve sections of the windward stretch of coast from the burden of discarded and forgotten marine debris.

The team traversed eastward over the island’s peak with anticipation to find the stony beaches coated in a rainbow of marine debris, but on arrival were surprised to find only 205kg on Fig Tree and Big Rock Bays when only six months ago these beaches were smothered by 690kg!