After experiencing their local marine environment and the fully protected marine reserve, participants are encouraged to lead action projects and become kaitiaki of their marine environment.
Over the years students have been involved in a range of action projects, from writing letters to their local authorities and Members of Parliament, presentations in front of assembly and public events, investigating where marine protected areas would go, supporting marine reserve proposal groups and addressing local issues in their community such as sand dune erosion.
The action component of the EMR programme is an essential factor in the students learning process and one which helps us to assess the effectiveness of the programme at meeting the projected learning and conservation outcomes. By encouraging students to undertake action, which is based on their own experience, EMR aims to empower students and encourage support for marine conservation.
Students become kaitiaki of the sea and together they make a difference!
Some EMR Action – case studies:
Dargaville Intermediate’s action projects included raising funds for the critically endangered Maui’s dolphin (only 55 remain), with Dargaville’s west coast being the Northern most habitat range. Some of the other projects included swimathons, selling baking at markets, or busking to fundraise for sea turtle, whio (blue duck), sperm whale & shark conservation projects. Some focused on marine pollution & beach clean ups, while others looked into local issues such as vehicles on dunes and signs to help protect birds such as the New Zealand Dotterel. Drain stencilling was also conducted within the school grounds. Overall the students raised almost $2000.00 for the various conservation projects which will result in donations to organisations involved in Maui dolphin conservation and to Dan Godoy's turtle conservation research as part of his PhD with Massey University.
Whangarei Home Schoolers Group
The Whangarei Home Schoolers Group made a display at the Whangarei public library with an active focus on increasing awareness of the Whangarei Harbour Marine Reserve and its boundaries. Working with home schoolers is extremely effective in achieving out reach into the community, due to the high level of parental input.
Okaihau Primary School
Okaihau Primary School held a marine reserve information evening at the college marae, they invited the community to attend, they perfomed skits and waiata, and their presentation was very informative and was followed by shared kai.
Waiheke and Great Barrier Island Schools
Waiheke and Great Barrier Island schools surveyed shellfish numbers and sizes on their local beaches. Gathering real, relevant data to assess the health of their marine environment has proven to be a practical and fun way for students to further develop their knowledge and understanding. Each site was surveyed and transect lines were mapped using aerial photos and GPS technology to ensure the same sites were sampled each year. Follow up classroom work was based around statistics, with teachers appreciating the ability to use real data that students have collected to create graphs and tables.
Kamo Intermediate School and Whau Valley School
Kamo Intermediate School and Whau Valley School made language a follow up focus and wrote letters to their district council campaigning for toilets and changing facilities at the car park above the newly established Whangarei Harbour Marine Reserve. As a result, the council have since established a toilet facility at the carpark.
Whangarei Intermediate got excited about a variety of topics and wrote letters to the editor on issues such as marine pollution, bottom trawling, critically endangered Maui’s dolphins and marine reserves. One student made a tee shirt to campaign against the damaging techniques bottom trawling.
Opua School used music, drama and technology to perform their marine reserve skit & waiata to the Minister of Conservation and other dignitaries at the opening of the Whangarei Harbour marine reserve, as well as in front of their parents during a public community evening.
Te Huruhi Primary
Te Huruhi Primary on Waiheke showed their marine reserve video on the Ferry between Auckland and Waiheke.
Whangarei Heads School
Whangarei Heads School held a marine conservation information evening.
Russell Primary produced some amazing work including surveys of marine reserve opinions of their fellow school mates, 3D artwork and cool poems. Their work was on display at the local information centre, so it could be seen by a wider audience.
Kamo Intermediate students made individual submissions for a real local marine reserve application.
Orakei School set up a display about the value of marine reserves and presented their powerpoint at the local shopping mall.
Onerahi Primary School
Onerahi Primary School made these bill boards to show their support for their local marine reserve, they displayed these outside their school and on the road on the way to the marine reserve
Pompallier Catholic College
Pompallier Catholic College made an awesome marine reserve billboard to be displayed at the Whangarei Harbour Marine Reserve