TACKLING MARINE DEBRIS
Tangaroa Blue Foundation and Conservation Volunteers Australia announced a $5 million program of local actions to clean-up and prevent litter from entering Great Barrier Reef waterways over the next five years funded by the Australian Government.
Tangaroa Blue Foundation is a leading not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the removal and prevention of marine debris. In 2004, Tangaroa Blue Foundation established the Australian Marine Debris Initiative which has a network of over 1,000 partners, engaging over 120,000 volunteers and removing more than 1,000 tonnes of litter from Australia’s marine environment.
Heidi Taylor, CEO and founder of Tangaroa Blue Foundation “We are excited that this funding from the Australian Government will enable us, together with our local AMDI partners, to develop and implement a strategic plan over the next five years to tackle marine debris across the Reef and to address the increasing threat it represents to this natural icon.”
As Australia’s largest environmental volunteer engagement organisation, Conservation Volunteers Australia will work in close collaboration with Tangaroa Blue Foundation and a range of local project partners to build on existing efforts to clean up the Reef.
“We are excited to partner with Tangaroa Blue and other AMDI partners to mobilise the community to tackle the challenge of marine debris” Phil Harrison, CEO of Conservation Volunteers Australia.
With over 8 million tonnes of plastic entering the ocean every year, marine debris has become one of the major environmental issues worldwide. Marine debris can cause injury or death to wildlife through entanglement and ingestion and can smother coral. It can transport pests and disease, and toxic substances harmful to the environment and can negatively impact tourism and coastal amenity values.
As one of the world’s most treasured natural systems, contributing $6.4 billion to the Queensland and Australian economies, it is important we keep the Reef free of litter – both for the marine environment itself and for the 64,000 jobs that rely on the Reef.
The project is an investment under Phase VI of the Australian Government’s Reef Trust. For more information on the Reef Trust visit: www.environment.gov.au/marine/gbr/reef-trust