Skyrail & Tangaroa Blue
Rainforest to Reef Clean-up
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway’s Rangers teamed up with Tangaroa Blue Foundation to contribute to their month-long Great Barrier Reef Clean-Up throughout October. Tangaroa Blue is a fantastic foundation that is dedicated to the removal and prevention of marine debris Australia wide. They have created the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) Database to stop rubbish at its source and preventing it from flowing into coastal environments.
In previous years, the Great Barrier Reef Clean-Up has resulted in approximately 14 tonnes of debris being removed from the ocean! We are thrilled to be able to support the clean up this year and look forward to helping make a difference in our area.
Tangaroa Blue’s name refers to the god of the ocean from Mauri and Polynesian mythology, who made laws to protect the oceans and the animals that live within it.
Tangaroa Blue has created an award winning Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI). Supported by a network of individuals, organisations and schools who partake in ongoing marine debris monitoring programs and workshops. Since the program was established in 2004, the Australian coastline has been cleared of over 17 million pieces of debris.
The database collects, counts and identifies the polluters in our waterways and recent research has shown that plastic has the highest impact. It is estimated there is over 40,000 pieces of plastic floating in every square kilometer of our oceans. Plastic does not biodegrade, it gets smaller and smaller creating microplastics and stays in the environment forever!
Teaming up with Tangaroa Blue Foundation
Skyrail’s Rangers rolled up their sleeves and got out there for the community, registering and hosting our very own Tangaroa Blue Foundation Great Barrier Reef Clean-Up. Their mission was to collect rubbish from the waterways starting at Skyrail Rainforest Cableway’s wildlife corridor, which is connected via a series of waterways flowing through Cattana Wetlands and into Half Moon Bay, Trinity Beach, which then continues to flow into the Coral Sea.
At Skyrail, we understand that our beautiful little pocket of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforest is intrinsically linked with the stunning Great Barrier Reef, and act as custodians of this fragile, globally significant environment in which we work to protect for future generations.
Why community clean-ups are important
We all love our marine life… the dolphins, turtles, fish, and more! But stroll down any beach in Australia and you will see some form of marine debris!
Australia’s beautiful marine life becomes a victim of our waste, which washes into the ocean and gets entangled in plastic, packaging, old fishing lines and nets which create deformities and injuries. Unfortunately whales and sea turtles often mistake plastic bags for jellyfish and ingest them. Sea birds are attracted to colourful pieces of plastic and mistake it as a food source to feed their young.
Heavy marine debris can damage habitats such as coral reefs by breaking the corals. Plants can also be suffocated by plastic or discarded fishing nets. Because of its durability, marine debris can also carry invasive species to new habitats which can have a devasting impact on the ecosystem.
How was our Rangers Rainforest to Reef clean-up?
It was a massive success!
This was our Rangers first collaboration to support the Tangaroa Blue Foundation, we like to call it our ‘Rainforest to Reef’ clean-up!
Spending the morning as a team outdoors and in nature, collecting rubbish for a great cause was a highlight for our Rangers. Returning to Skyrail Rainforest Cableway to sort, count and record their giant haul of treasured trash! They discovered just how much our surrounding environment has been impacted by rubbish and some of what they found was quite interesting!
The team picked up more cigarette butts than any other item. Tangaroa Blue is currently promoting a Ditch the Flick campaign, encouraging smokers to bin their cigarettes. Second to the cigarettes were plastic film remnants, pieces of plastic bags and wrapping, they also found engine parts, plastic signage, many drink bottles and a tyre!
Volunteering their time has given our Environment Team another sustainability goal to help reduce the amount of waste ending up in our waterways and in the ocean, and a continued purpose to improve the community, nature and environment for all to enjoy!
“We hope to be more involved in clean up initiatives in the future and hopefully get the wider community involved. At Skyrail Rainforest Cableway we respect and admire all the work Tangaroa Blue is doing to stop marine debris and in getting communities around Australia involved in the fight against waste, through both education and action”.
Want to help support the reef?
Join Tangaroa in their community clean-up’s and volunteer your time for great cause!
Don’t leave rubbish in outdoor spaces and why not pick up rubbish while on a walk. A small amount of time collecting rubbish out in the community will make a big difference.
Try to be more sustainable. As consumers we have the power to change how products are made and packaged via our purchasing choices. The less waste we consume, the less will end up in our environment and oceans. The biggest impact you can have is try to eliminate plastic from your life or at the very least eliminate single use plastic and unnecessary packaging. Purchase reusable shopping bags instead of using the generic plastic bags. Boxes are another great option!
Tangaroa Blue Foundation has many ways in which people can get involved with their great cause. You can participate in planned beach clean ups, register and organise your own community clean ups, contribute by making a donation and be more sustainable day to day!
Want to help support the rainforest?
Join the Skyrail Rainforest Foundation and support tropical rainforest education, regeneration, and conservation worldwide.
Tropical rainforests are a precious natural resource. Whilst they only account for approximately 6% of the earths total surface, they are home to an amazing diversity of flora and fauna, most of which is endemic and not found anywhere else.
The Foundation’s primary objective is to raise funds to support tropical rainforest research and education. All donations are exclusively channelled into supporting these activities.
Learn more on the official Skyrail Rainforest Foundation website.
Maybe next time you are strolling down the beach or hiking in the tropical rainforest and see a piece of rubbish you will get the urge to pick it up and do good for the enviroment… after all it is the small things that can make a difference!