The Wellington Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) programme is coordinated by the Wellington Marine Conservation Trust, who operate the Island Bay Marine Education Centre, with support from the Poneke Area of the Department of Conservation, the Wellington City Council, WWF-NZ and the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust (via the Tindall Foundations support for national expansion).
EMR was first pilotted in Wellington in 2006. The marine reserve that is snorkelled as part of the programme is Taputeranga.
EMR Wellington have created a new web hub for the Mountains to Sea programmes
Community Guided Snorkel Days
Two EMR Community Guided Snorkel Days at Taputeranga Marine Reserve were carried out over the summer of 2016. The friends of the Taputeranga Marine Reserve trust as well as lots of volunteers were present to pass on information about the reserve to 222 community members.
EMR School stories
For an EMR kaitiaki action project, students from Onslow College had an article in their local newspaper encouraging community members to make submission to the proposed new MPA act.
School stories from previous years:
Island Bay School – EMR Taputeranga Marine Monitoring Programme. Yr 6 class.
Island Bay School has been involved with the EMR programme for the last 4 years and have been taking part in collecting long term data about the changes in the Marine Reserve. Over the years, students from Island Bay school have produced films about the Marine Reserve, created Seed to Sea envelopes to help encourage waterway planting, and continue to be avid supporters of the Taputeranga Marine Reserve.
Students from Island Bay School, with Wendy Barry (WWF) and their teacher Kendra Taurua with signs showing their support for the Taputeranga Marine Reserve.
Houghton Valley School
EMR Taputeranga Marine Monitoring Programme. Yr 6 class. Houghton Valley School has been taking part in the EMR programme since it began in Wellington in 2007. They were the first and only school in our first year and have continued to be enthusiastic participants in the programme and supporters of marine reserves. They are also an EMR monitoring school.
Full EMR Programme. 2 classes. Yr 5 & 6. Berhampore School has been taking part in the programme since 2010.
Students from Berhampore School entering the water at the unprotected snorkel site. After this snorkel students visit the Taputeranga Marine Reserve and are able to see the difference marine protection can make.
Miramar South School
Full EMR Programme. 2 classes – Yr 5.6 and Yr 7/8.
This is the first year Miramar South School has taken part in the programme and for many of the students this was the first time they had been snorkelling- let alone inside of a marine reserve. Their confidence to give it a go has been impressive and they have had a lot of fun too.
Students from Miramar South School, and EMR volunteers, at Taputeranga Marine Reserve.
St Anne Schools
Full EMR programme. Year 5/6 class
This is the first year that St Annes School have taken part. Visits to the school have shown a senior school turned into an underwater kelp forest. Students have also created fabulous power-point slideshows and original songs that they have been sharing with their community.
Students snorkelling at Taputeranga Marine
Hataitai School pupils take action for their marine environment
Murals, a puzzle book, power point presentations and a comedy were among methods devised by Hataitai School students to convey marine conservation messages.
More marine reserves and cessation of whaling were sought by students who learnt to snorkel, researched oil spills, probed the issue of overfishing and invited a fisheries officer to talk to them about his role as part of the Experiencing Marine Reserves programme, conducted at the school in Term 4 last year by volunteer educators Cat Jones and Emily Danby.
Houghton Valley School