Marine conservation goals are not achieved easily or in short time spans. Our first marine reserve was created in 1971 at Leigh. It has been a resounding success: ecologically, economically and, without planning to, educationally. Fifty years later we are still struggling to establish an effective network of marine reserves. This section looks at the roll of education in changing how we as country think about the Sea and the role of marine reserves.
More than ten years ago the team at Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust set out on a journey to engage New Zealand's children in experiencing a marine reserve. They created a program called Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR). EMR uses an experiential approach, bringing the magic of our coastal ecology and the excitement of restoration that goes on in a marine reserve, to thousands of young New Zealanders, their parents and their teachers. We welcome you to go to the EMR website and follow this story and decide for yourself how valuable this approach is to reaching our goals in marine education. Better yet get in touch and get involved with an EMR in your region. You will see how to do to this on the web site. This page connects you with EMR and other marine conservation education resources.
There are a substantial number of of marine education resources and sites to turn to if you are wanting to include an educational focus in your project. We list links to these web based resources below, starting with two web site projects from the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust:
The Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust has a community engagement program under development named ReefSavers. The focus of this program is to create a resource site and social network that supports investigating, researching and monitoring local reefs and ultimately working to restore and protect these important habitats. Over the next year we expect to build on this project so check back from time to time to see new resources and things happening there.
MarineNZ is a marine information site developed some seven years ago to meet a need for all things relating to marine conservation. The aim was to have photos, stories and scientific resources to readily available on the net. The Trust is no longer developing this site but it is still a valuable resource, especially for pictures of marine life and resource documents. It has a powerful indexing and search function. Photo resources can be download and used free of charge for education or conservation work.
Marine Metre Squared
Marine Metre Squared is an easy way for anyone to survey the plants and animals living on their local seashore. The emphasis is on intertidal rocky shores and it is an excellent resource, suitable for school projects but also useful generally for developing a monitoring project.
The NZ Marine Studies Centre, University of Otago, is encouraging everyone to participate in long term monitoring of their marine environment – the Marine Metre Squared. Anyone can take part – individuals, families, schools and community groups.
See more resources targeted at the NZ schools curriculum on our In Schools page.