Introduction

You are invited to view mesmerising marine life in Tasman Bay’s two marine reserves next month, with snorkelling events to to mark Seaweek.

Date:  17 February 2012

People are being invited to join in snorkelling events to view mesmerising marine life in Tasman Bay’s two marine reserves next month to mark Seaweek.

Youngsters aged from eight to 17 are invited to sign up for a for a fun, learning “Take a Kid Snorkelling” trip to Tonga Island Marine Reserve off Abel Tasman National Park on Saturday 3 March.

People are also invited to a snorkelling day in Horoirangi Marine Reserve on Sunday 18 March, based at Glenduan, ‘the Glen’, north of Nelson city.

The events are being held to celebrate Seaweek, 3 – 11 March, the theme of which this year is ‘One Ocean – Too Much Love? Turning the Tide’ which explores the wide variety of different uses, passions and expectations of the sea and their conflicts and impacts now and into the future.

Department of Conservation Motueka Community Relations Programme Manager Rudy Tetteroo said the snorkelling events were aimed at building community appreciation of our local marine reserves as well as being a fun day out.

‘Participants don’t have to be experienced snorkelers, just be keen to have a go and a desire to experience the marine environment close up.’

A maximum 20 young people can take part in the ‘Take a Kid Snorkelling’ event at Tonga Island Marine Reserve on 3rd March being organised by DOC in partnership with Abel Tasman Aqua Taxi, and marine educators Richard de Hamel and Megan Wilson, an Experiencing Marine Reserves coordinator.

‘Participants get to enjoy the thrill of snorkelling in the marine reserve off Mosquito Bay to observe sea creatures underwater and to explore rocky reefs and discover the marine life within them,’ said Rudy. ‘There will also be marine-themed games and learning activities.’

Places on the snorkelling trip are limited so bookings should be made early by contacting Aqua Taxi, phone 0800 278 282. Children should be accompanied by parents or other adults. A ratio of one adult to two children is ideal.  It costs $25 per youngster and $45 per adult. The trip will depart Marahau at 10.30am (assemble at 10.00am) and return to Marahau at around 3.30pm.

In the event of bad weather, the trip will be postponed to the following day, Sunday 4 March.

The ‘Community Snorkelling Day’ at Horoirangi Marine Reserve on 18 March, from 8.30am to 12.30pm, is open to anyone aged eight and over who wishes to come along. People are asked to bring their own snorkelling gear if they have it but gear will also be available to loan.

The event is being hosted by Experiencing Marine Reserves Coordinator Megan Wilson along with DOC and the Nelson Environment Centre.

‘The Community Snorkelling Day is aimed at increasing community ownership and awareness of our local marine reserves,’ said Megan.

‘Experienced guides will accompany people in the water. Children aged 15 and under need to be accompanied by an adult observer.’

In the event of bad weather, this event will be postponed to the following Sunday 25 March.

Contact

Rudy Tetteroo, DOC Motueka Community Relations Programme Manager, ph: +64 3 520 1810.

For more information about these events contact:

Megan Wilson, Experiencing Marine Reserves Coordinator, ph:+64 3 528 8978 or +64 27 6638909.

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