Introduction

The most comprehensive biodiversity monitoring blitz ever undertaken on New Zealand's rocky shoreline will be a key feature of NZAEE Seaweek during 2-10 March 2013.

Date:  25 February 2013

The most comprehensive biodiversity monitoring blitz ever undertaken on New Zealand's rocky shoreline will be a key feature of NZAEE Seaweek during 2-10 March 2013.

Schoolchildren, community groups, and iwi will work alongside scientists to take a close-up look at 1m x 1m patches of their local marine environment in just one of the many events planned for NZAEE Seaweek 2013.

The 'Marine Metre Squared' project is already underway with volunteers recording everything from algae to plants, fish and pests or sedimentation found in their 'metre squared' plot. An easy-to-use tool kit is available. Anyone interested in signing up can contact co-organisers Otago University Marine studies centre at marine-studies@otago.ac.nz .

National coordinator Mels Barton says hundreds of volunteers have signed up to gather the much-needed data with the ultimate aim of establishing a baseline for existing marine biodiversity around New Zealand.

"There's very little information on what's actually in our shorelines now. What we want to know is 'what is out there and are we losing it?".

"It's so encouraging to see enthusiastic people working together with agencies on these projects and, realistically, we couldn't achieve the level of data without their help."

With hundreds of events nationally, Seaweek - "Toiora te Moana- Toiora te Tangata Healthy Seas – Healthy People" - aims to inspire all Kiwis to celebrate Tangaroa's realm and tackle important issues such as pollution, pest species and illegal harvesting of the sea's bounty to keep our seas healthy for everyone.

In Northland, Seaweek activities include:

  • beach clean-ups
  • free guided snorkel days
  • a marine pest workshop for teachers
  • whale stranding training
  • surfing for the disabled
  • displays
  • presentations from marine conservationists
  • book readings
  • art
  • kayaking
  • screenings of 'The Last Ocean' documentary about the Ross Sea

Seaweek 2013 is sponsored by:

  • ASB Community Trust
  • Department of Conservation
  • NZ Marine Studies Centre
  • University of Otago
  • Northland Regional Council
  • DSP Print Group Ltd

Seaweek is organised by the New Zealand Association for Environmental Education (NZAEE) and is in its 22nd year.

Contact

Dr Mels Barton
National Coordinator
Phone: 021 213 7779

Carolyn Smith
DOC Kaitaia Programme Manager Community Relations
Phone: +64 9 408 6190 or 021 241 2273

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