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New app to record marine rubbish in our region

With marine pollution strongly in local communities minds due to thousands of pieces of plastic currently washing up on Hunter beaches after more than 80 shipping containers fell from a ship off the coast of Newcastle recently, Hunter Local Land Services is urging people to lodge their finds with the Australian Marine Debris Initiative.

Hunter Local Land Services is proud to support the Tangaroa Blue Foundation who is this month launching a new app for the community to record rubbish they find in local waterways, on our beaches and out to sea – so we can all work together to address this major global environmental threat.

The app is linked to the Australian Marine Debris Initiative, which is a national database of rubbish collected during beach and river clean-ups.

Tangaroa Blue is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the removal and prevention of marine debris.

Heidi Taylor from Tangaroa Blue says the app will make real-time monitoring of pollution easier for the dedicated volunteers working to remove rubbish from our coasts.

“The app is going to make our data collection so much easier as volunteers can automatically record GPS data, add photos and even scan the barcode on rubbish so we can track it back to its source,” says Ms Taylor.

“The AMDI database helps identify the types and amounts of marine debris impacting specific sites.

“We work with community, government and industry groups to identify sources to find practical solutions to stop marine debris entering our waterways.”

The app will be launched Tuesday 19 June at Black Head Surf Life Saving Club. The launch will be supported by three short training events for interested volunteers at Speers Point, Stockton and Forster also during June.

Anyone keen to register to attend the launch or one of the training sessions is invited to sign up via the Hunter Local Land Services events page:

“Hunter Local Land Services acknowledges the many volunteers along our coastline, who work tirelessly to improve habitats for native species and make our beaches better for everyone,” says Community Engagement Officer Reegan Walker.

“We are encouraging community groups, industry bodies and just the wider marine users to come along to these training sessions, to ensure the app is used to its full potential.”

Tangaroa Blue is urging anyone currently finding rubbish from the damaged shipping containers to take photos and lodge the barcodes with the AMDI – so the rubbish can be tracked as it moves along the coastline.

For more information please contact Reegan Walker on 6551 8994 ext 221.