EMR coordinator see first-hand, the benefits of the EMR programme. The feedback is amazing but the most
rewarding part is seeing the looks on the faces of the students, whanau and even the teachers as they emerge from their marine reserve experiences. A real buzz is created, even though they are sometimes shivering, they can’t stop speaking about what they saw…this is Education for Sustainability in action!!

The following is a collection of stories from the EMR team

In Northland, the EMR programme is umbrelled under the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust. The trust was
having a meeting in Waipu one evening at the popular ‘Pizza Barn and Bar’. The Pizza Bar is full of locals and I had
recently delivered the EMR programme to Waipu School. During the course of the evening, a young girl approached me with her father and they took it upon themselves to thank me for their marine reserve experience and welcome me again into their community. They said that they had thoroughly enjoyed their experience and plan to go back to Goat
Island and take their friends – students and parents get empowered and passionate.

A school teacher had never been snorkelling before. Her school was inland so many of her students were also inexperienced. The teacher declined the opportunity to get into the water at the Whangarei harbour Marine Reserve, but was so inspired by her students after the day, she took the plunge at their next trip to the Goat Island marine reserve. The teachers was completely lost for words as we emerged from our snorkel. She was visibly blown away by what she had seen and said that the experience had strengthened her support for marine reserves – teachers get empowered and passionate too!

It was a sunny day in Northland and a school arrives at the Whangarei Harbour Marine Reserve. I set about delivering my safety and objectives briefing to the group. After Q&A time we split into our rotation groups and started getting kitted up. Whilst I was leaning over sorting masks and snorkels, a young student approached me and asked,

“So where are the nets”?

I replied “Ryan, there are no nets”.

“You mean, the fish could actually get out if they wanted to!!”

The student had assumed that the abundance of fish in a marine reserve was due to the presence of nets which would keep them in….he was clearly impressed and came to the conclusion that fish must really like marine reserves. The student later did the programme at intermediate where his understanding was extended even more and made a professional radio ad about the WHMR with local radio - EMR encourages awareness and participation in local marine reserves