Monday, December 21, 2015

Volunteers Wanted

Are you a teacher or educator who does not get seasick, and would like to join the cleanup crew for the 2016 cleanup in early March? The Bookend Trust is offering the chance for one lucky person to produce an on-line interactive blog for students across Australia. More information can be found HERE

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

1% for Planet to lend a helping hand

This week the Wildcare Coastal Custodians where privileged to be accepted into the 1% for the Planet not for profit groups. these not for profit organisations and groups are eligible to receive donations from companies that have registered to donate 1% of their profits to support environmental and social projects around the globe.  Many thanks to the people at Patagonia Australia for facilitating this exciting initiative.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Jess Leitmanis the Rope Magician

Jess was the lucky recipient of the 2015 crowd funding place on the cleanup.  Jess is a small plastic master and as you can see from the photos above a very talented plastic rope weaver.  She has been offered a return spot on the 2016 edition. Check out more of her fantastic work on

Tassie marine debris cleanup nets national environment award

The Tasmanian Southwest Marine Debris Cleanup has received a national award for its outstanding work removing rubbish from remote World Heritage beaches in the state’s southwest.

Cleanup coordinator Matt Dell travelled to Perth on Tuesday night to accept the Environment Award on behalf of himself, cray fisherman Dave Wyatt and expedition volunteers at the Australian Seafood Industry’s annual National Conference.  

“Marine debris is poisoning our ecosystems from the ground up. With total global plastic production doubling every ten years, this issue is not going away anytime soon,” said Mr Dell.

“We have collected, counted and sorted nearly half a million items from within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area over the past 15 years. This year alone, we removed over 79,000 pieces of rubbish from Australia’s most wild, spectacular and remote beaches.

“We continue to work with the Tasmanian Fisheries Industry Council, the Tasmanian Rock Lobster Association and the Tasmanian Abalone Council to identify and minimise the potential waste sources within the Tasmanian fishing industry and remove them from the production cycle.

“We can all do our bit in tackling this globally critical issue. We need to stop the rubbish getting into the ocean in the first place. Here in Tasmania, the Government needs to show they’re serious about protecting our World Heritage Area. They must take urgent action and introduce long-overdue container deposit legislation” concluded Mr Dell.

Monday, March 23, 2015

2015 Photos

Click the Image above to view the album

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Recherche Bay - Hobart

Wow! What a week of beach combing on the wild beaches.  We experienced all that the rugged South West of Tasmania has to offer. Wild winds, waves, sunshine and rain and a cracking aurora to finish off on the last night.

79084 items of Marine Debris was collected in all, each one picked up off the beach, documented and then repatriated back to 'civilization'. A big thanks to al the Sponsors and boat skippers without which this cleanup could not continue, and to the group of dedicated volunteers who spent many painstaking hours bending down on the beaches picking up the rubbish and then several hours bending down again each evening counting the days collection on a rocking and rolling boat.

The hard work we have put in over the last 15 years seems to be paying off with noticeably less large rubbish on the beaches that we regularly survey.

PLEASE, if you see rubbish on the street, field, beach, stream or path, pick it up and put it in the appropriate bin. Otherwise there is a good chance it will blow or wash into the ocean and it too will float around the globe before polluting a shoreline or maiming wildlife.

Bramble Cove - Mutton Bird Island - Recherche Bay

An early morning steam to Muttonbird Island, it was an overcast and damp start through a kelp field that landed us on one of the more spectacular beaches of the South West WHA. Last year we spent a full day on this beach and collected a huge amount so we were intrigued to see how it was this time around.  Recent rain as we have learned keep the surface plastic covered, you need to dig to find it. And as always at first glance it looked pretty clean, 3 hours and 22 bags of rubbish later it was clear it wasn't.
Finally the Dellagator gave us the word we could stop, so off to the dinghies we went.  The pickups from the beach weren't easy so we went to the rocky point, we were already soaked by rain then got soaked by the sea, Masaaki had the right idea, a wetsuit, the rubbish ninja!

With a fresh NW breeze we pulled the anchors and headed towards South West Cape, en route to Recherche Bay.  The Diamantina crew did the final count on the way and we were very surprised by the total of a day which felt a casual stroll in comparison to the Duckholes, 10644 pieces of rubbish, an almost exclusive club of rope and plastic pieces.  An interesting and satisfying result of our annual efforts is seeing massive improvement on beaches we visited the previous year, however if left a couple of years then the buildup can be extreme.  We are making a difference to a special part of our world, and hope we can inspire others to take care of their part of our world. Theres a couple of bags still to be counted from the the Odalisque crew on the way down but the total stands at 79084 pieces of rubbish, this is another record haul from the team, many happy faces.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Green Island - Bramble Cove

A afternoon steam up from yesterdays clean-up site at Low Rocky allowed
the surfers to have a awesome sunset session near our Green Island
anchorage. The talk of the rubbish count that night was all about the
volume of rubbish we'd discover the next day, in a foul pit of
decomposing kelp soup. Green Island Main & Duckhole lived up to these
descriptions today. A record haul of 37,438 pieces of manmade rubbish
was carefully picked out of kelp on one beach, and rocks on the second.
Long ropes were extracted from elbow deep rotting kelp. The
back-breaking hours hunched over, collecting thousands of small peices
of rope and plastic, were repeated on the boat decks, sorting and
counting every rubbish category. Hats off to all the crew, for pushing
through when at times you wonder why? The job satisfaction of beaches
transformed to their natural glory in a few gruelling hours is the
motivation. Longterm volunteers also inspire us when they tell how much
healthier the previously-cleaned beaches are now looking, after years of
rubbish hauling efforts. An honour to be part of such an awesome
effort today, the BushPigs.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Day 6 Elliot Bay - Green Island

After a late nights count everyone slept soundly, rocking around on a
rolly anchorage. We awoke to view the fully amazing scenery we had
rocked up to during the previous evenings darkness and prepped up to hit
the beaches. Being four years since we had last cleaned Elliot Bay at
Low Rocky Point, we were expecting a record haul, but recent rains left
the beach sand concealing many plasticky mysteries. Whilst Spikey
amassed a large rubber collection, bait straps, beer cans and small
plastics piled in up in quantity in each of our bags. Ness and Claire
individually handpicked grains of polystyrene, all the while imagining
how enjoyable it would be counting each of them again during the
evening's tally! We finished up on the beaches round 3:30 and steamed
south, having completed our clean of the northernmost beach in our
survey area. The evenings count had a technical difficulty rating of
about 6/10, broken into shifts among each of the different boat crews,
and we managed to count through a hefty 4567 pieces.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Day 5 Schooner Cove - The Giblin - Elliot Bay

Most of the crew were up at 5.30 am and made up to the Giblin for a very
long day cleaning both beach and rocky shore. The beach was deceptively
clean due to recent rain which fluffs up the sand burying the plastic a
few centimetres below the sand. Even so the team managed 2569 items
in 31/2 hours. Some early risers managed to make a start on the
more rocky shore to the south of the beach which yeilded an
abundance of plastic bottles and small pieces of rope. Special mention
goes to Harry for his valiant effort in battling the surf to retrieve a
lost cray pot, buoy and line. After dragging the rubbish back to the
river the teams split up to clean the rest of the rocky shore. It was a
long afternoon with the last team leaving the rocks at 7.30pm after
sifting through shiny pebbles, prickly bushes and rotting kelp to
retreive an epic 12,280 items off the rocky shore. Techinical difficulty
rating of 8/10, overall rubbish coverage of the rocks was an all time
11/10! A big days effort produced a mega count for the evening which
was conducted on a rolly anchorage, adding to the overall difficulty of
the counting task - technical rating of 9/10. The count was finished at
11.30 pm and the beachcombers returned to their respective boats for a
well earned sleep.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Day 4 - Schooner Cove - Mt Rugby - Horse Shoe Inlet

Day 4 Blog

Q. What has 30 heads and 60 wet feet? A. The south west coast clean up
crew. Very wet day today here on the clean up, so our dreams of hitting
the beaches was postponed until the tropical weather shows up tomorrow.
Nothing could dampen our spirits however, and the team split into three
groups, some opting to tackle Mount Rugby (the view from the top was not
too bad, some said all white), some crew went to find the fabled MONA
Art installation while some of the die hard clean up crusaders hit the
rocky coast to see what rubbish they could find. After making it safely
back to the boat, Masaaki worked his magic again, constructing a
Patagonia Logo replica platter out of fresh Tuna, some nourishing
Crayfish miso soup, and the Odalisque crew made some tasty pizzas.
Having made the most out of a very wet day, the crew is keen to get back
on clean-up mission tomorrow.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Days 1 to 3

Day 3 Coxs Bight - Spain Bay - Schooner Cove

All 4 boats arrived today in Spain Bay after an early morning steam from
Cox's Bight. We were on the beach by 11ish, the late start may have
been due to last night's very rolly anchorage and dance floor antics.
Small plastics were the main find at the start, a few token wins were a
clob foot, genie bottle, tyre and gumboot. The creek was full of ropes,
plastic and cans, 5 people worked one section for a good 20 minutes. We
decided to do the count before tucking into Masaakis delicious tuna
platters. 6958 items we totalled for the day. Fresh sashimi and sushi,
Gillespies ginger beer, moo brew, live tunes, pirate costumes and
dancing washed down another rewarding day.

Day 2 Coxs Bight

The end of Day 1 found three boats safely anchored in Cox Bight.
Unfortunately (for the rubbish and them) the fourth boat is stuck in
Recherche until the weather improves. The team cleaned the beach from
the western end up to Point Eric in both rain and shine - 2999 items in
all. We'd love to say we got it all but the beach may have beaten us in
the end. Quartz pebbles were very good camouflage for all sorts of
plastic, rope and bait straps and the general consensus is it has been
the most technical beach cleaned in a few years. However the team pulled
through and collected an impressive immunity selection including a toy
plastic boot, an axe head, a lure (which Masaaki is now proudly wearing
as a broach), and a die. Nice work! We are now in recovery mode having
had a quick abalone dive and a surf in somewhat un-ideal conditions,
dinner is solving all issues though and soon we'll be amped for
tomorrow. Bring on Spain Bay!

Day 1

And we're off! The biggest Southwest Marine Debris Cleanup in history
has kicked off with a bang. After traversing some wild south coast seas,
two boats are safely anchored in Cox's Bight ready for a big day of
beach cleaning tomorrow, and a third is on its way.

After a few last minute logistics, all Team Clean's boats were loaded,
crewed up and heading south by the early afternoon. The Breaksea was the
first boat around South Cape on the south coast having left Dover at
midday. The Velocity followed close behind, meeting up at Louisa Bay on
the way to the calm anchorage of Cox's Bight.

All the crew are absolutely amped about steaming round Southwest Cape in
a few days and are gearing up for a huge week of cleaning up some of
Australia's most remote and spectacular beaches.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Team Clean sets sail for the wild west

And we're off! The biggest Southwest Marine Debris Cleanup in history
has kicked off with a bang. After traversing some wild south coast seas,
two boats are safely anchored in Cox's Bight ready for a big day of
beach cleaning tomorrow, and a third is on its way.

After a few last minute logistics, all Team Clean's boats were loaded,
crewed up and heading south by the early afternoon. The Breaksea was the
first boat around South Cape on the south coast having left Dover at
midday. The Velocity followed close behind, meeting up at Louisa Bay on
the way to the calm anchorage of Cox's Bight.

All the crew are absolutely amped about steaming round Southwest Cape
and are gearing up for a huge week of cleaning up some of Australia's
most remote and spectacular beaches.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Thanks to the ABC for the Media coverage

Well its coming to the end of a pretty hectic day. The day started well with Harbs and I heading down to the ABC studios for an interview with Felicity Ogilvie from the World Today Program.  Harbs starred in his first stab at media duties.

The Audio from the interview can be found here. The World Today

The ABC were also kind enough to run the story online with some pictures of the beaches we visit. The article can be read here. ABC News Online

The rest of the day was spent collecting the large shop from Marco at Hill Street, dividing up the meat from the wursthaus, and getting the last of the supplies together. By late afternoon we had organised for the sponsored clothing from Patagonia to be over night express posted down for the troops, then cooked up a mammoth  Butter Chicken for 15 people and got the interstate crew settled into their digs and ready for a day of adventure tomorrow.

Now its 10.30 pm I can start packing my own gear.  Looks like I will definitely need some some good wet weather gear.

Media Release - Team Clean sailing west to fight a wave of rubbish

The largest ever Tasmanian South West Marine Debris Cleanup expedition sets sail from 12pm next Wednesday. The annual volunteer-run expedition has been cleaning up Tasmania’s wildest beaches for the past 15 years.

In 2014 alone, the cleanup team removed 48,340 pieces of rubbish from Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area on the west coast.

“A toxic wave of plastic is trashing our oceans. Marine debris travels from across the seas and washes ashore on some of the planet’s most isolated and spectacular beaches in western Tasmania,” said cleanup coordinator Matt Dell.

“with total worldwide plastic production doubling every ten years the amount of plastic that is present in our oceans is likely to get much worse without a concerted effort to properly dispose or recycle used plastics”

“The annual cleanup keeps our most precious wild places clean, documents what is washing ashore and is a key part of the global effort to fight the toxic wave of plastic that’s trashing our oceans.

With a four-boat fleet and a crew of over 30 hardy volunteers, Dell is expecting 2015 to be the biggest expedition yet.

The team launched a crowdfunder earlier this week to raise much needed funds for food and fuel supplies –

For more information, contact Matt Dell: 0419 922 887

Monday, March 9, 2015

Final checks

Things have been running pretty smoothly over the last few days, the dry and fresh stores have been ordered from our generous sponsors at The Hill Street Grocers and the Wursthaus.  We have had the usual last minute hiccups with a few crew pulling out and one of the boats on a quick dash fishing mission up the North East coast. At this stage the Velocity, Odalisque and the Breaksea will try and get away early Wednesday to push along the south coast before an expected westerly change during the afternoon which will make travelling very unpleasant. The Diamantina will hopefully be departing from Margate around 6pm that evening.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

6 Days to departure

Well its that hectic time of the year again when we start getting the boats and crews geared up for the ultimate beachcombing adventure.  This year the Velocity, Diamantina and Breaksea will be joined by Pieter van der Woude's new charter vessel the Odalisque II. This flotilla will take the largest contingent ever of volunteers to the remote beaches of Southwest Tasmania. Many thanks to the myriad of generous sponsors and particularly the fishermen for donating their vessels and expertise as none of the past 15 years efforts would be possible without them. We have a number of new faces joining the team this year and there short bios can be found on the Team page.

The weather for departure day and the few after that look interesting to say the least.
One thing is for sure its not going to be a nice calm trip along the bottom of Tasmania.