Date: 27 February 2009
It will be heads down, tails up at New Zealand's beaches next week, as thousands of people take part in Seaweek activities all around the country.
Go snorkelling to celebrate Seaweek
From snorkelling trips to beach clean-ups, boat tours to marine art exhibitions, the Department of Conservation and the New Zealand public will be out in force supporting Seaweek 2009.
Seaweek 2009, led nationally by New Zealand Association for Environmental Education and supported by DOC, runs from 1-8 March and DOC is encouraging all New Zealanders to get involved.
"The theme for the week is 'one ocean - it starts with me' because we can all contribute to protecting our ocean and marine species for the future," says Simon Banks, DOC Marine Conservation Manager.
Around the country DOC is organising a wide range of activities to help people discover what's special about our ocean and what they can do to make a difference.
"The seas surrounding our country are home to several species that you won't find anywhere else in the world - so we need to look after them."
"New Zealanders can be proud of our 33 marine reserves, which protect our marine species in a range of environments - everything from the rocky shore and the sub-Antarctic ocean to the sub-tropical waters far north of Auckland," says Simon Banks.
Seaweek is also a chance to acknowledge the hundreds of community groups and volunteers who work hard to give our marine species and their habitats the chance to thrive.
"It's great to see so many communities working together to set-up protection measures securing the future health of their local marine environment," says Simon Banks.