How do we ensure our coasts get the care they deserve?
Well, the NACC NRM Coastal and Marine Team have taken a stab at answering this question via funding from the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage’s Coast West Grant program. The project adopted a three-pronged approach – support existing Coastcare networks, facilitate their partnerships with coastal managers and recruit some younger Coastcarers into the fold.
First up, the Coastal Team tendered for the combined services of Bamford Consulting Ecologists and Nathan Ducker and Associates Educational Consultants to develop a series of locally-based school curriculum packages. The result was three discreet packages on the topics of Coastal Biodiversity, Protecting our Coastal and Yued Aboriginal Connection to Coast. Local teachers provided invaluable guidance and feedback during package development.
Targeting pre-primaries through to Grade 10, the packages include step-by-step activities, with an emphasis on Knowledge Construction and Real-World Action Projects. NACC NRM’s Coastcare Support Officer Tegan Knowles says the team is looking forward to inspiring the next generation of Coastcarers!
“We are super excited to share these curriculum packages and look forward to a future filled with young and enthusiastic Coastcarers,” Tegan said.
Next up, it was an immense pleasure for NACC NRM to return to supporting the regular Regional Coastcares Forum that have been happening since 2013. This year’s event, reported here, was great fun as always, but more importantly a unique opportunity for Coastcarers to meet, share experiences and learn from a string of fascinating presenters. Another important output from the forum was feedback on our previous Coastcare resources webpage, soon to reappear in an improved format on NACC NRMs webpage.
Lastly was the opportunity to build on the positive motivation resulting from the Coastcare forum by instigating a collaborative forum that brought together coastal managers and Coastcarers to develop mutually-beneficial projects. The resulting Turquoise Coast Management Group (TCMG), reported here, is now in operation.
With the project now complete, there is no time to rest on our laurels. Further Coastwest funding has been obtained to continue Coastcarer forums and the TCMG, and it is time to get these curriculum packages up and running in schools across the region. We need to start cranking out the next generation of Coastcarers.