Plastics Pollution is Reaching the Most Remote Parts of the Ocean

In June 2016, CSIRO, Tangaroa Blue and Bush Blitz, along with Surfrider and other environmental organisations, embarked on a 12-day journey to tackle marine debris and to collect research on the species that inhabit the Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve. In just 12 days, over 2.2 tonnes of rubbish was removed from the remote islands of the Great Coral Sea. 

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The Coral Sea covers roughly 1 million square kilometers of water - approximately 3 times the size of its neighbor the Great Barrier Reef - and is home to an array of spectacular reef systems created by underwater mountains. Currently it supports a thriving community of marine life including hammerhead sharks, manta rays, barracudas, white-tip reef sharks and more. But despite its isolation, these reef systems and the organisms that they support are under serious threat. 

"To the naked eye the places we went to looked unreal. Blue water, white sand, coral reefs -- straight out of a picture book. But much like the beaches along the east coast of Australia, once you started to look into the first buffer zone between the sand and land, the real story unfolded." - Andy Gray, Surfrider Wollongong Branch President

As Andy and the team learned, plastic debris have found their way into these remote habitats and are devastating the lives of many species, both aquatic and terrestrial. Watch Andy's 'Great Coral Sea Clean-Up' to see the heartbreaking reality our plastic addiction is having on our oceans, in the most remote corners of the world. 

You can help by donating to Surfrider to support our ongoing campaigns to protect Australia's oceans, waves and beaches.

To learn more about how you can Rise Above Plastics, please visit: www.surfrider.org.au/riseaboveplastics

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