ROAR: How did Clean Coast Collective come to life and who are the founders?
N&D: Clean Coast Collective (CCC) emerged after a number of trips into remote sections of the NSW South coast. We hiked into these locations to find secluded waves, escape the crowds and to feel fully immersed in the coastline. However we began noticing that the further we hiked the more rubbish we found.
So we started researching the issue and discovered that all this rubbish is called 'marine debris', that it's everywhere and that it's threatening to destroy everything we love about the ocean. We were shocked and one rainy coastal evening we decided we could no longer continue enjoying everything we love about the coastline without giving something back.
ROAR: That's an awesome way to look at it! What's your purpose and passion with CCC and how can people get involved?
N&D: We have two main purposes with CCC, firstly educate all surfers and beachgoers to the enormity of trash and pollution in our oceans, and secondly to show people that creating a difference and working towards a solution can be really simple. We want to show people that you can live a life that includes removing rubbish from our beaches and reducing waste and plastics in our lives, while still enjoying the coastal lifestyle we all love.
Fellow salty folk can get in touch with us on instagram (@cleancoastcollective), on Facebook, or on our website (www.cleancoastcollective.org) to find out about upcoming events and projects. Along with blog posts on our clean ups and ways to reduce plastics in your everyday life, our website also includes a directory of all clean up groups we have engaged with across Australia. Visitors can go to the directory and use the interactive map to find their closest clean up crew to lend a hand!
ROAR: We love your website and can't wait to get some shirts!! Can you tell us a bit about yourselves and your recent adventure.
N&D: After a few months of doing beach clean ups on various beaches on the south coast, we decided that we needed to see how bad things were around the entire Australian coastline, we needed to raise awareness about marine debris on a larger scale, and we needed to support all the amazing people who have been working on this issue for years. The Trash Surfari campaign was born and we took off on an epic six month journey around the entire Australian coastline.
The journey was an incredible eye opener. Not only did we learn all about our beautiful country and its rich diversity, but we were also blown away by the impact of marine debris on every part of the Australian coastline. Every single beach we visited, no matter how pristine it appeared on first glance, was impacted in some way by marine debris and plastic pollution. On urban beaches we would find litter left behind by beachgoers, and on more remote beaches we would find plastic remnants, micro plastics and large debris, such as oil drums, commercial fishing equipment and fridges!
ROAR: What an epic adventure! I think most people would be amazed to know isolated beaches still have rubbish on them and how big the issue actually is! How important do you think collaborating with like minded people for a cause is and why?
N&D: Collaboration for us is really important. Since founding CCC we have come to appreciate the power of surrounding ourselves with positive and likeminded people. There is such a great energy that emerges when a group of positive people come together by chance and can share their passions with other likeminded and motivating individuals. We are incredibly impressed and inspired by people that we have met who are following their own path and making their dreams come true, no matter what they are.
We want to use CCC as a way to collaborate with passionate people and promote their projects. Through our online presence we promote small grassroots groups keeping their strip of their coastline clean - groups that may just be an informal group of friends that meet once a month. Through this we hope to gain these groups more exposure and hopefully encourage others in the area to lend a hand at their events and clean ups. We also collaborate with coastal businesses and artists who, in some way, are promoting cleaner oceans and reduced plastics through their business and art.
ROAR: What are some exciting programs happening this year?
N&D: Last year we were fortunate to run a very successful crowdfunding campaign through the ING Dreamstarter Program. With these funds we are able to run our 2015 project, the Trash Tribe. The idea for the Trash Tribe project emerged after visiting beaches in remote Cape York during our journey. These beaches, some of Australia's most beautiful and most remote, are incredibly impacted by marine debris. Local rangers spoke to us about heading out to a beach and cleaning up over two tonnes of rubbish, to just return the following week to see that more had floated in. Cape York is an incredible example of just how much rubbish is out in our oceans.
The Trash Tribe project will take 10 creative, passionate and influential young Australians up to Cape York in July this year to undertake an epic beach clean up over 5 days. In past years, our partner organisation for the clean up, Tangaroa Blue, has removed between 3.5 to 5.5 tonnes of marine debris off a single Cape York beach - all washed ashore from shipping lanes and neighbouring countries.
For any salties out there interested in applying to be one of the 10 Trash Tribe members, we are accepting applications until midnight 31 March - get in quick to join this epic adventure!