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Western Australia

Inaugural Cocos Island Marine Debris Project!

2017Cocos1Report by Patricia Swallow Tangaroa Blue volunteer

Fourteen volunteers jumped at the opportunity to help Tangaroa Blue Foundation and Keep Australia Beautiful WA in their inaugural marine debris project on the Cocos Keeling Islands.

Cat McCartney, a passionate Tangaroa Blue supporter for many years, was the instigator of this important clean-up campaign. Having visited West Island on lots of occasions, she was well aware that this tropical paradise had a big problem with marine debris washed onto its shores and wanted to do something about it. Check out our photo album of the week on Facebook.

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Hunter's beach combing treasures

hunters rubbishReport from Rhedyn Dekker and son Hunter.

We choose Point Anne, St Mary's inlet east of Bremer Bay as our campsite to celebrate the Australia Day long weekend our coast lines are the most beautiful serene places in the world. Its heart breaking to find people don't respect it and look after it I personally like to leave a place better then I found it leaving only footprints:)

After soaking up the Australia day beautiful weather we spent the next two days picking up other peoples rubbish on the first day we travelled east from Point Anne to Point Charles we got to the End of the beach to where we could no longer 4WD and unfortunately filled our ute with Ropes, nets, bottles, hard hats, plastic, foam, cans, buckets, car parts, glass, shoes, pallets with 3inch nails sticking out, plastic pallet wrap, bags, oil bottles, the list could go on :( Id say half from boats dumping and half from lazy beach goers with out a care for our beautiful coastline and wildlife we even found dead animals as a result from human rubbish :(

Day two we headed back towards the beautiful Bremer Bay from Point Anne along Triglow beach, again we got to the furtherest point we could 4wd coming up to the salmon camp where we off loaded some of the ropes so we had room to pick up more, turned around and drove back to our camp on the way back we could have easily filled the ute 5 x times over coming across dump sights in the dunes where it looked as tho people had just taken a tip truck and emptied a years worth of rubbish its heart breaking too see, trying to teach my 3 year old to recycle and not litter and to appreciate his environment, he loved beach combing, in amongst the rubbish he managed to get himself a yellow sand scoop, a ball and several hard hats for his friends to play with he woke up today asking if we could go find more rubbish and toys to play with! Parenting win :D

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Oil bottles lead to AMSA investigation

Bunker Oil Bottle ADuring the Western Australian Beach Clean-up event in October 2016, two bunker oil bottles were discovered in the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park by volunteers. The following week, another two bottles were found in the same region by Margaret River locals. The oil bottles were still intact, full of marine fuel oil and with labels on them listing a vessel name, date and crew members’ names.

Heidi Taylor, Managing Director of Tangaroa Blue Foundation said, “Volunteers provided photos and location details which we were able to quickly report to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) for potential investigation. This highlights the value of citizen scientists’ observations while out in the field, our volunteers are not rubbish collectors, but part of a national marine debris CSI team.”

AMSA personnel were able to track the vessel, the “Gloria Island” a bulk carrier registered in Panama, down and board whilst alongside at Thevenard in South Australia. Both the Master and Chief Engineer of the vessel were questioned at length and could not provide any explanation as to how the oil sample bottles made their way overboard. The vessel’s processes regarding bunker oil sampling were also reviewed.

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A mattress, a sofa and a hospital bed!

2016WABCU3This year's WA Beach Clean-Up event held on October 15th and 16th saw over 5 tonnes of rubbish removed from more than 200 kilometres of Western Australian coastline. Clean-ups were conducted from the Kimberley right through to the South Coast, including the Rowley Shoals. Volunteers took part removing close to 100,000 pieces of marine debris and litter from our beaches. The final statistics will be released with the annual WA Beach Clean Up report early in 2017.

This year's long cold winter deterred many people from getting out onto the beaches, particularly on the Saturday when a big swell, high tides and strong winds didn't leave much beach to be cleaned up in certain areas. Fortunately, Sunday brought sunshine to lure all the keen and eager volunteers and as a result the clean-ups were well attended and large volumes of rubbish were removed from our beautiful coastline.

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2016 WA Beach Clean-up

2016WABCU1The 2016 West Australian Beach Clean-Up got off to a wild and woolly start last Saturday with some clean-ups having to be postponed or locations changed to foreshore areas due to big swell, high tides and wind that you could hardly stand up in. Others braved the conditions, persevering, with their efforts paying off. Sunday was a completely different day with much lighter winds and sunshine and as a result clean-ups were well attended, and huge amounts of marine debris and locally sourced litter was removed from our beautiful Western Australian coastline.

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