The Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust – Nga Maunga ki te Moana was established in 2002. It is a charitable trust, formed to provide a strategic base for community and school-based conservation work.
The Trust provides technical support for schools, community groups and government departments who are working on conservation initiatives. Our vision sees our biodiversity –the ocean, coastal areas, streams, lakes and wetlands – as respected taonga (treasures), and as part of a connected system. We believe that restoration of any part of the system supports the entire system, and we view education as central to all environmental restoration.
The Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust was established primarily to umbrella the Experiencing Marine Reserves and Whitebait Connection programmes. Both projects have been recognised nationally as leading edge marine conservation programmes in the education field.
Both programmes reinforce the vision of the Trust, and provide opportunities for students and communities to engage in marine and freshwater conservation.
The formation of our Trust brings together an extensive array of professional skills and capabilities. Within our group there is a balance of youth and experience, science, social science, educational and leadership accomplishment. Collectively amongst the Trustees of MTSCT we have decades of educational, science and business experience. We have extensive networks and professional relationships to call upon. We have a vision of how education for sustainability can develop and play an important role in our communities. Our programmes make a unique and significant contribution to environmental education in NZ. More information on our trust can be found on our Trust website here.
Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) is a national programme of experiential learning about marine conservation. EMR's independence, professional delivery, marine reserves focus and provision of a range of learning styles make it unique within New Zealand. Since its introduction in Northland in 2002, programme uptake has continued to increase throughout the country. EMR is lead by Samara Nicholas, whose pioneering work in marine education saw her awarded the inaugural Sir Peter Blake Emerging Leader Award in 2005.
Whitebait Connection (WBC) programme provides dynamic information and experiences which inspire and educate schools, community groups and tangata whenua to restore and take care of the life sustaining force of their local streams and catchments.