Join Surfrider Foundation in celebrating the annual International Surfing Day on Saturday, June 25. The event will have a 70's theme featuring Morning of the Earth's Tamam Shud, an awards presentation, canapes and drinks at bar prices. Tickets are $50 each or two for $75. Get yours here - tickets are selling fast!
Thank you to all of those who made a donation to protect our oceans, waves & beaches and win Gorilla Tail Pads! All donations made between March 15, 2016 and March 31, 2016 went into the draw to win one of 5 Gorilla Tail Pads. Congratulations to the winners: Rose Welk, Matthew Keating, Tara Geraghty, Chersess Aish & Cherie Noble have been notified via email on April 4, 2016.
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After 2 days of transit in the High Seas, the vessel and its crew arrived successfully to East Diamnond islet for their first clean in the Great Coral Sea. This beautiful coral environment, located 400km offshore, has little to no visitation from the outside world. These isolated habitats do not experience fishing or tourism, and are one of the last reef systems before the Pacific opens up to New Caledonia.
After collecting debris at East Diamond, the crew carried on for the next 3 days for a beach clean at the Lehu reefs – Lorna cay, and studies of Observatory cay and Magdeline. But although the Coral Sea and its reefs are considered to be some of the most distinctive and undisturbed places in the world, the team agreed that each area was highly polluted with debris- our plastic waste.
Surfrider's Andy Gray describes the first clean of the voyage..
“There were sea birds by the thousands, with hundreds protecting eggs during breeding season, along with thriving marine life and crustaceans. For such a remote location however, the amount of marine debris was overwhelming. Shipping buoys, ropes and drums were among the most common items, but the majortity of our beach hauls consisted of plastic bottles, plastic containers and secondary micro plastics- which was made worse when we found plastic riddled throughout the birds nesting areas.”
These findings are very concerning considering that these reefs and islands not only provide habitat to sea birds, but also create important refugees for ocean mammals such as whale sharks and big game fish, and many vulnerable and endangered species of birds, fish, mammals and turtles as well. It is our hope that with effort's like this, along with other organizations around the world, we will be able to improve and preserve these pristine habitats in order to protect the ocean, beaches, waves and organisms we love so much.
In the meantime, while Andy and the crew continue on their voyage, stay tuned here for live updates, photos and stories of their journey!
Photos Week 1:
Surfrider's Andy Gray, members of the Parks Australia’s Marine Protected Areas team, CSIRO and several marine debris NGO representatives departed from Mackay this past saturday, 11th of June, to begin the Coral Sea Voyage. They left the harbor on the Iron Joy (pictured below) to begin their 12 day journey to tackle marine debris and collect research on the species that inhabit the Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve.
Surfrider Foundation will be partaking in the upcoming Great Coral Sea Clean-up and Bio-discovery Voyage. The voyage will take members from Parks Australia’s Marine Protected Areas team along with CSIRO and several marine debris NGO representatives, including Surfrider, on a 12 day trip (11thJun – 23rd Jun) around islands in the Great Coral Sea to:
- Collect data on levels of micro-plastics and marine debris;
- Conduct island clean-ups; and
- Undertake in bio-discovery and bio-security surveys through the Bush Blitz program
Surfrider's Andy Gray, president of our Uni of Wollongong branch, will be taking part in the journey on behalf of our foundation. Follow Andy's live journey here to experience the biodiversity of the Great Coral Sea, to develop a better understanding of marine debris, and to gain insight on the quarantine issues associated with the Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve.
Here is a map of the Great Coral Sea Clean-up and Bio-discovery Voyage that illustrates the route that Andy and the crew will take around the reefs.
Watch the video below to learn more about the history of the Great Coral Sea, as well as the importance of any research and conservation efforts that aim to protect its future.