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AUSMEPA Bulletin Autumn 2009

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

fffffIn the last months large scale marine issues have been on everyone’s mind. There has been a wash of ocean news from sea level rise concerns to wild weather and oil spills.

AUSMEPA is committed to partnerships that contribute to healthier seas and sustainable solutions for coastal waters. We believe that young people are part of the solution. We provide free education materials made up of an online learning centre for each unit of work, teacher curriculum notes and student activity downloads.

AUSMEPA Environmental Award – who won this year?
Every year the Board of AUSMEPA considers contenders for the AUSMEPA Environmental Award. In April, the State Government of Victoria accepted their award for environmental improvements to the water quality of Port Phillip and Victoria’s coastal waters. In the 1970’s Port Phillip was in a bad state with many major pollution concerns. Through the efforts of the Environment Protection Authority of Victoria with Melbourne Water the water quality of Port Phillip and Victoria’s coastal waters has improved dramatically. Both organisations have also been working on a new Better Bays and Waterways plan to help ensure that Port Phillip and Western Port are better protected from the impacts of land based activities. Visit the EPA website at www.epa.vic.gov.au/water/coasts/betterbays.asp

EDUCATION - New AUSMEPA topics
From April 2009 new education units on Ships and the Marine Environment and Ports and the Marine Environment were launched on our new website. www.ausmepa.org.au

The new two new sites are colourful and inviting with information pages for students and teachers on these topics. Unit work pages are filled with excellent facts and photos. Curriculum materials are adaptable so teachers can quickly adjust them to meet their needs.

These new materials can be useful for

  1. schools visiting a ship or port
  2. people interested in finding out how ships and ports operate while protecting the environment.

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Coastal Conservation – Student Leadership Educational Resource Program AUSMEPA successfully secured a Caring for our Country grant in the last round. The project will encompass work with teachers and students in NSW to develop leadership resource materials that will be available to all for coastal conservation activities.

School challenge -- Compare if you dare!
AUSMEPA is one of a worldwide chain of Marine Environment Protection Associations. Founding members in Greece are HELMEPA. They have translated the AUSMEPA Coral Bleaching website into Greek We invite our Aussie school friends to check out www.helmepajunior.gr/ausmepa/default.htm Have a look at what they have to offer. Can you see the difference?


Life on Board
Sound interesting? Life on Board is a special AUSMEPA page that will whisk you away to visit the British Trader, a Liquefied Natural Gas carrier. Onboard you can get to know the crew and the UK Marine Society’s Sea Cadets who are finding out just what is like to live and work at sea. The Life On Board link is www.ausmepa.org.au/other.asp?pageId=3
Click on the link to the British Trader. It will take you to the Marine Society and Sea Cadets. Once there the menu at the left will lead you to Webships > British Trader > Life on Board where you can read the latest stories. The website provides a unique insight into contemporary life at sea and traces the progress and happenings on board as the British Trader sails around the world. Cadets and crew provide regular updates. A New Marine Discovery Centre for Thursday Island
Congratulations to Tagai State College on qualifying to become the 10th and newest Marine Discovery Centre in Australia. Tagai College sets the curriculum for 16 Torres Strait island schools. The school has its sights set firmly on its reputation for excellence in marine studies.

New Ship members for AUSMEPA – what does that mean?
AUSMEPA is strongly supported by seafarers and the maritime industry. It is fantastic to know that some ships are so proud of their environmental safety standards that they are willing to go out of their way to prove it time and time again as they travel around the world. These ships set high examples to their peers. By joining AUSMEPA as Ship Members they demonstrate that good practices that protect the environment can be maintained all the time. In the last several months the following ships have added their names to the growing list of quality vessels: M.V. Crudestar M.V. Summit Terra, M. V.Sophia Britannia, M.V. Ioannis Zafirakis, M.V.Atlantic Horizon and M.V. Dione

To find out more about these ships and the AUSMEPA Ship membership Scheme see the website www.ausmepa.org.au/other.asp?pageId=16

Plastic Bag Petition – Planet Ark
Planet Ark invites us to look at a video clip that graphically shows how plastic bags are affecting our wildlife. You may wish to visit the site http://planetark.org/index.cfm to find out about this. You might also like to sign up to their Green Resolutions newsletter. It has lots of great ideas to help you reduce your impact on the planet. The underlying principle is based on the idea that although no one can do everything, everyone can do something. Find ways you can change what you do to make a world of difference.

Renewable energy
We’ve recently noticed an Australian company, Solar Sailor that is looking at ways to fit wind and solar modifications to ocean going vessels www.solarsailor.com/company_overview.htm

World Ocean Day– 8 June 2009
We all need to work together on ways to change how we treat our wonderful coastal waters. World Ocean Day is the perfect moment to celebrate our collective efforts. Wear something blue!

AUSMEPA honours World Ocean Day everyday and congratulates all of our readers for being part of a cultural shift recognising the essence of our connection to the sea.