Grassroots beach clean group Positive Change for Marine Life can trace its roots to Taiji, Japan in 2011. The organisation’s CEO Karl Goodsell saw the conflict taking place between Taiji locals and environmental campaigners opposed to the annual dolphin hunt Taiji has become infamous for.
He sought a more positive way of communicating conservation messages and founded Positive Change for Marine Life in 2012.
Gold Coast Beach Survey Coordinator, Taylor Kehoe spoke to Samantha Morris about the organisation’s expansion to the Gold Coast and opportunities for you to get involved.
“We have projects running throughout many areas of the world, but in Australia, our primary campaigns have focused around marine debris,” Taylor told Blank Gold Coast. “In Byron Bay, we have been running beach surveys as well as workshops in schools and assisted Byron Bay High School in transitioning to be waste free.”
“Positive Change for Marine Life expanded to the Gold Coast in January 2017 commenced beach surveys on 22 April 2017,” Taylor said.
Since then, the group has conducted eight surveys along the same 200m of Miami Headland.
“We separate all items collected and record what we have found,” Taylor said. “All of this information is uploaded to the Tangaroa Blue National Marine Debris Database, where it is used to mitigate the impacts of debris on marine environments.”
Across those eight beach surveys volunteers have collected 5495 pieces of rubbish, 2952 pieces of plastic (including 1566 cigarette butts), 705 pieces of foam, 911 glass items, 341 metal items and 279 paper items.
“The rest is comprised of items ranging from cloth and rubber to wood items,” Taylor said. “We have even found used needles and construction items.”
The beach cleanups continue every fortnight at Miami Headland, near Miami Surf Club and Taylor says more hands are always needed.
“With more volunteers, we can cover larger areas of land in order to prevent even more rubbish making its way to the ocean.”
“Over the next few years, we have plans to expand our organisation on the Gold Coast, similar to ways that we have in Byron Bay,” Taylor said. “At the moment, however, our primary focus is on engaging with the community through regular beach cleans, and as such, we are always welcoming new volunteers to join us.”
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Beach surveys take place 8.30am on Saturday 9 September, 23 September, 7 October, 21 October, 4 November, 18 November and 2 December and all necessary equipment is provided for volunteers. For more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.