Marine debris including microplastics

01 June 2020 until 31 August 2020

Marine Debris Activities

Marine Debris is a technical term used for rubbish found in the ocean. It includes ropes, plastics, fish nets, packaging tape, bottles and other thoughtlessly discarded things. This rubbish can come from many places; including ships, fishing and recreational boats. It can come from city streets carried into the ocean from the storm-water drains.

Are you concerned about rubbish pollution in our oceans and on our beaches and how this affects our local marine life? Do you want to do something to help?

Anyone can get involved in their daily life and Take 3 for the Sea when visiting the beach or take up the challenge and ‘Choose To Refuse’ single-use plastic this Plastic Free July and for evermore thereafter.

Citizen Science - Adopt a beach marine debris monitoring

In response to community concern about the amount of rubbish on local beaches, Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula launched a Marine Debris Monitoring and Adopt a Beach Program in 2008. You can take the lead on adopting a beach for in the Whyalla area using the Tangaroa Blue Australian Marine Debris Initiative.

Making your clean up work count - steps to adopting

1) Contact NRM Officer Barbara.Murphy2@sa.gov.au or phone 0427 188 546 to discuss what's involved (register your beach/area of interest, define the size of clean up area, frequency, etc.)

2) Download a data sheet

3) Read the manual (or watch the film)

4) Encourage others - What can you do about marine debris (solutions here) | Education kit for teachers | strive for a waste free life (factsheets)

Black Point near Whyalla is one of Eyre Peninsula’s long-term monitoring sites and has been monitored by Whyalla local Trevor Nottle for over ten years since 2009. (read the media release and hear what Trevor had to say on our website).


Citizen Science - AusMap microplastics monitoring

AUSMAP is a nation-wide citizen science initiative, surveying Australian beaches for microplastic pollution. Data collected will help researchers determine how much microplastic pollution has already entered our aquatic ecosystems and its effects on the marine food chain.

Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula can host Ausmap microplastic sessions for volunteers and school groups in Year 5 and above.

Ausmap training involves a classroom component learning about the microplastic pollution in our oceans and an overview of the sampling methodology. Participants then head out doors to the beach to collect samples for processing back in the classroom. An assessment is completed at the end of the training which qualifies you to be an Ausmap collaborator and collect samples to contribute data to the National Database.

To register your interest in attending Ausmap training contact Natural Resources Education and Volunteer Support Officer Barbara.Murphy2@sa.gov.au or phone 0427 188 546.


School Activities – Marine rubbish and pollution


Take you class (Year 5 and above) on an excursion to learn about microplastics in the ocean and collect samples for the Ausmap National Database. See above for further details.

Beach Clean-up

Take your class on excursion to learn about marine debris and clean-up a local beach. Blog about your clean-up on social media to inspire other schools.

Plastic Free July

Get your class to join the challenge and ‘Choose To Refuse’ single-use plastic during Plastic Free July.

Marine debris art for public display

Draw awareness to rubbish in our marine environment by creating an art piece from marine debris collected from our beaches. See the “thong cuttlefish” created by Stuart High School students on display at the Whyalla Visitor Centre for inspiration.

Beach Detectives Sessions (suitable for younger children)

A Whyalla Foreshore excursion for younger students to investigate what belongs on the beach and what doesn’t. Where litter comes from, how it ends up on the beach and what we can do about it.

For advice and support, or to book Marine Debris talk or Beach Detectives session contact Natural Resources Education and Volunteer Support Officer Barbara.Murphy2@sa.gov.au or phone 0427 188 546

More information