Whananaki School have been partcipating in the Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) programme during term 1, and recently experienced the magical Poor Knights Islands.
Seaweek Ocean Champion Samara Nicholas explains the programme “EMR is about engageing the whole community in marine conservation, Foundation North provided the funding to support the schools participation in EMR”
We started in the classroom with an introduction to marine biodiversity. We then explored the estuary neighbouring Whanananaki School. Our next progression of snorkel experiences was to the the local rocky reef at Otamure Bay, where the students observed some reef fish and kina barrens.
On April 5th we were able to take the entire school (59 students from year 0– 8s) to the Poor Knights thanks to Dive Tutukaka and fundraising from the Whananaki School PTA.
“ It was great to have so much support from the parents and community, as we are relient on their support for adequate and safe ratios ”
"The EMR programme is a wonderful opportunity for all children to acquire knowledge about our marine biodiversity. Our students had a fantastic experience at the Poor Knights." Shaun Tepania (Whananaki School Principal)
"The Poor Knights was so amazing! There was so much to see. It was extraordinary!" Sophie Mander (year 7 student at Whananaki School)
For the final stage of the programme we take action in the community. Whananaki School and EMR will be collaborating with Seacleaners to remove rubbish from our estuary and catchment. The school also has an established native plant nursery and is active in marine survey work using the marine metre square project. Whananaki School won a Canon environmental award last year.
Check out the video here