Hitting top gear into the new year

The NACC Coastal and Marine team have charged headfirst into 2018, having already conducted three fun-filled (and educational) events across the Northern Agricultural Region this month.

While summer usually means school holidays for the kids, there was still plenty of learning to be had in Dongara last week when NACC’s Coastal team hosted a morning of beachcombing and discovery at South Beach.

Eager to explore, the kids went in search of “artefacts” that caught their eye along the beach, and looked for hidden treasures buried in the beach wrack (natural material – mostly seagrass and algae – that washes up along the beach).

Coastal and Marine Project Officer Vanessa McGuiness and Natural Resource Management Project Manager Sarah Samulkiewicz-Taylor helped the kids identify each and every discovery they made, even those pesky foreign materials such as a red piece of fishing rope which was initially mistaken as being a piece of red algae. (Unfortunately our coastal and marine fauna do that too – with deadly consequences.)

Blessing of the Fleet

The following weekend the Coastal team were again back in Dongara – for the annual Blessing of the Fleet event. The heat, and an accompanying strong easterly wind, did not deter the crowds as punters of all ages attended the event, with many taking the time to have a chat with our team at NACC’s Coastal Community Trailer.

Vanessa said the coastal erosion display was a big hit with many of the kids – as families who live along the Dongara coastline are well aware of the impacts of erosion.

“We also had a lot of interest in our Boxthorn Brigade – a local community group who are tackling Boxthorn along the Irwin River Estuary,” she said.

Kids Hub

More fun and activities kicked-off earlier this week at the St. Lawrence Primary School Kids Hub in Geraldton where NACC’s Coastal team engaged with 23 kids aged 5-10 years. During this session, the children learned about the harmful effects of marine debris in our oceans and on our beaches, microplastics, wind and wave erosion, as well as the hidden creatures found in beach wrack.

Coastal & Marine Project Officer Vanessa McGuiness chatting to the Kids Hub OSHC group at St. Lawrence’s Primary School in Geraldton
Coastal & Marine Project Officer Vanessa McGuiness chatting to the Kids Hub OSHC group at St. Lawrence’s Primary School in Geraldton

Coastal Project Officer Tegan Clarke said it was really rewarding teaching the kids about the ocean and coastal processes.

“Everyone had lots to share about their experiences, and we even had one young fella tell us he’s going to let his dad know not to leave cans at the beach,” she said.

For information on the Coastal & Marine Team joining your program, or the Boxthorn Brigade, please contact Vanessa McGuiness (e) Vanessa.McGuiness@nacc.com.au or (p) 08 9938 0108.

NACC’s Coastal & Marine projects are made possible through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

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1 comment

Great work Coastal team, education is the name of the game. future generation will educate the older folk.
Keep up the amazing events.

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