AUSMEPA 2014 Summer eNewsletter


Newsletter highlights:

  • Jody's Corner: 2014 New Year sparkles, Australian Curriculum & new education resources, Junior Rangers plus a special invitation to Indigenous Rangers, Cruising
  • For seafarers: 2013 MARPOL changes to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships
  • For schools: RAMEG Grant applications closing; New Poster Activities, Mangrove Calendars
  • For supporters: AUSMEPA Environmental Award 2013-14, Maryville Ships join AUSMEPA

Jody's Corner

2014 New Year sparkles

Fireworks twinkled across Australia this New Years Eve. They create a spectacle, an exciting and electric atmosphere, punctuated by loud explosions and sparkling colours reflected in the sky and water. The foggy smoke is the only reminder of what just happened. It got me thinking about whether we've gone a little overboard with this particular method of celebration, lasting several minutes and costing millions of dollars (Sydney fireworks cost 6.5m). I wondered about the smoky residue that accompanies the fireworks and the effect it has? You might like to have a look at the Ocean Whispers article here that considers some of the facts around the pyrotechnics we love so much.

Australian Curriculum & new education resources

I find I am always excited when we have new school materials available and having the chance to spread the word. Last year we brought you some new animal posters, and along with the accompanying fact sheets. We can boast a link to Australian Curriculum marine lessons, activity sheets that feature helpful graphics and thought provoking presentations for student that directly relate to the posters here. (See more in the for Schools section)

Junior Rangers

AUSMEPA consultants are working closely with Land and Sea Rangers, the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and the Indigenous Partnerships Group of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority on a special project for Junior Rangers.

A project scoping workshop will be held in the third week of March to design a suitable resource. This exciting project will assist the Land and Sea Rangers to engage even more easily with their younger community members as students them to learn how to keep our land and oceans healthy. Activities may be wide ranging and include working with researchers like Seagrass Watch, for instance. In this photo students are monitoring the health of a vital marine habitat, seagrass. (Photo courtesy of SeagrassWatch)


We would be honoured to have the company of Indigenous Rangers who might like to attend the first workshop to develop the proposed 'Junior Ranger Guide' book. The guide will assist all Land and Sea Rangers who need to establish Junior Ranger Programs in Queensland and beyond. Your valuable knowledge and experience is vital to ensure this guide fits easily into your Land and Sea Ranger roles and priorities.

DATE:  Thursday 20th March 2014
TIME:  9 am – 5pm  (morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea provided)
VENUE: Rydges Plaza Cairns
RSVP:  Thursday 13th March 2014


I don't know if you've been on a holiday cruise but it is an amazing experience. It is interesting also that statistics reveal a large growth in cruising. So what does that mean to the environment and how is it being addressed? We do know that the problems of garbage disposal by the bigger cruise ships with now up to 5,000 or even 6,000 souls on board has increased dramatically over the past few years. If you are interested in the MARPOL changes related to garbage disposal that address this concern you may view a quick summary in the Seafarers section of the newsletter.

For seafarers –

Disposal of garbage at sea

It's a year now since the main changes to the Internation Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) came into effect, regarding the disposal of garbage from ships and floating platforms (oil rigs). These changes are of high relevance to our seafarers and also perhaps to secondary or tertiary teachers wishing to educate on the topic.

In summary they are:

  • Introduction of Special areas where disposal of garbage is prohibited unless meeting a specific requirement; e.g. food waste comminuted, or ground up, fine enough that it is able to pass through a screen or mesh with holes no larger than 25mm.  The special areas denoted are; the Baltic Sea, North Sea, Mediterranean, Black Sea, Red Sea, the Gulfs Area ( Arabian Gulf), Wider Caribbean and the Antarctic Area 
  • Almost total prohibition of the disposal of garbage at sea, except in a few specific cases.
  • Cargo residues including wash water which cannot be unloaded in port and which are not harmful to the marine environment may be disposed when as far as possible, but at least 12 nautical miles from the nearest shore. (The words in bold are the new amendment.)
  • Animal carcasses may be disposed providing it is in the maximum possible depth of water while the ship is enroute and providing the ship is at least 100 nautical miles from land. There are exceptions in certain circumstances when the retention on board may pose human health issues.
  • The new regulations now apply to fixed and floating oil rig platforms
  • Shippers must now declare whether or not their cargo is classed as being harmful to the marine environment
  • Documentary requirements including the need for placards on garbage disposal now apply to all ships not just those over 100 tonnes
  • Requirements for port and coastal states to provide adequate reception facilities

The following website link provides a more detailed summary here
Special thanks to Michael Julian for providing the preceeding information.

For schools -

Closing - Rhondda Alexander Memorial Education Grants

The third round of the Rhondda Alexander Memorial Education Grant is open however it is closing soon and submissions have been rolling in. Applications for the grant close on 1st March in each year. There is still time to put one in. For more information click here and contact either or to request the application form.

New Poster Activities

It is with pleasure we draw your attention to an array of new activities that align to the Australian Curriculum. To see what we have for Foundation years (4 items), Year 1 (7 items), Year2 (8 items), Year 3 (6 items), Year 4 (8 items) click here.
Your feedback on how these new materials works for you and your students is greatly appreciated. Send your comments to

2013 Calendar project 'Mangroves in Australian Waters'

We had a wonderful response to fantastic poster activity. The student's images creatively illustrate what the students learned about Mangroves and went on to feature in the AUSMEPA calendar project completed late last year. Mangroves are an important feature of Australian coastlines and are considered a buffer zone to both preserve the integrity of our shores and help keep our marine environment clean and healthy from the impacts of land-based pollution.
We had 20 schools participate across the country; Dampier, Karratha, Darwin, Bowen, Hay Point, Gladstone, Newcastle and Canberra.
It was extremely hard this past year to select the 12 for each region's calendar. AUSMEPA would like to thank the sponsors who made this happen; AMSA, Port of Darwin, Rio Tinto, North Queensland Bulk Ports, Mermaid Marine and Australian Marine Services. I would also like to thank our wonderful printers Who Marketing on the Sunshine Coast.

For supporters –

AUSMEPA Environmental Award 2013-14 Recipient - Healthy Waterways

Congratulations to Healthy Waterways, an extremely successful collaboration between government, industry, researchers and the community. Their successful project combines all the important elements of a remediation and waste education program including a focus on behaviour change. It also has program design elements that  allow for measurement of project impacts. This project could be adapted for use in other areas of Australia  for similarly excellent outcomes. 

The program delivers four main projects;

  • Healthy Waterways Clean Up Program – on-ground collection of waterway litter by a professional clean-up crew
  • Plastic Pollution Revolution – creating a movement of people committed to reducing their use of plastic
  • Moreton Bay Marine Debris Initiative – identification of marine debris 'hotspots' and community litter audits and cleanups
  • Regional Behaviour Change Campaign – an innovative campaign to achieve measurable community behaviour change to reduce waterway litter at its source

AUSMEPA welcomes "MARYVILLE MARITIME INC" to the AUSMEPA Ship Membership Scheme

AUSMEPA'S Executive Officer Julie Nash, is proud to announce the fleet of ships (39) at Maryville Maritime Inc in Greece, as the most recent ships to be approved and accepted into the AUSMEPA Ship Membership Scheme.

Ms. Julie Nash said, "In recognizing the marine environmental awareness and education work undertaken by AUSMEPA and the other MEPAS around the world, the AUSMEPA Board were pleased to acknowledge the high quality of Maryville Maritime Inc., Greece and commend them for their excellent environmental and safety record."

Ms. Nash also said, "The AUSMEPA Ship Membership Scheme had been introduced to award ships which can demonstrate the highest level of safety and marine environmental protection. To fly the AUSMEPA Flag is a sign of quality."


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