AUSMEPA eNewsletter Spring 2014

Newsletter highlights:

  • Julies Corner -
    • Membership drive
    • Article on Oil Spill Centre
    • Ports and dredging
  • For schools –
    • Announcement of curriculum retrofit to AUSMEPAs units of work
    • Update on how to find curriculum materials for new posters  
    • Announcement on AUSMEPAs entry onto Scootle
    • Article on MTAQ conference
    • Cleaner Greener Schools - Art sculpture competition
  • For seafarers –
    • AMSA releases its North East Shipping Management Plan
    • Barrier Reef shipping route gets IMO backing


Julies Corner -

Membership drive

The reception we have had from schools, teachers, home schoolers and the maritime sector from our education projects, units of work, posters and DVDs have given us a wonderful heartfelt pride. It takes a tremendous amount of coordination across a variety of areas of expertise in order for us to bring these to you at no cost.

If you love what we do and aren't a member of our association, or perhaps have forgotten to renew your membership, could you please click here to download the Annual Membership form and Tax Invoice.  

Australian Marine Oil Spill Centre (AMOSC)

Oil spills are a threat to our marine environment. They can come from industry exploration, ships as well as from the land to the sea through our waterways. Everything that can be done to prevent them, should be done. However, accidents do happen.
The AUSMEPA team were lucky enough to take a tour of the AMOSC facilities to see firsthand the extensive range of amazing tools to deal with spills when they occur. We spent three days videoing a training program where participants from the maritime industries including ports learn how to operate oil spill equipment and contain oil spills. These videos will be used for future education materials. Thanks to the team at AMOSC for their time and dedication and the chance to see what they do up close. See their website (here)

Ports and dredging

Dredging and ports in north east Queensland are topical discussion themes at the moment. On one hand many are rightly concerned about potential dangers to the water quality and health of the local marine life from human impacts. On the other hand shipping channels need to be designed to minimise the risks of accidents. Also Australia's standard of living is tied to goods both coming and going from ports as well as the vast array of employment opportunities for young people.

Australia's Peak Industry Organisation, Ports Australia (here) recently advised the release of a report "Dredging and Australian Ports".  The Report (here) measures the performance of a number of dredging projects carried out in sub-tropical and tropical Australia against the parameters established for them by the environmental regulators. 

The report found that of the 43 monitoring programs reviewed, 62% reported impacts that were consistent with approvals, 21% reported impacts less than approved, 5% reported impacts that were greater than approved and, in 12% of the cases, impacts could not be accurately determined due to extreme weather events.  The report has been prepared and peer reviewed by acknowledged independent experts in the field and brings a good measure of rigour to the subject. 

For schools –

Announcement of curriculum retrofit to AUSMEPAs units of work

For Prep to Year 9 school teachers, there is no need to go through the drudgery of trying to tie our materials to the Australian Curriculum. We've done it all for you. You will find that each unit of free online work has direct curriculum content descriptions that are in place now. The content descriptions cover Science, Geography, English, Maths, and IT.

For example, if you wanted to use our Marine Pests and Threats unit of work (here) you will find Download the PDF for Australian Curriculum Description

Update on how to find curriculum materials for new posters

The newest units of works and activities relate directly to our beautiful primary posters. To find the new materials first click on the Curriculum Units menu item.  Looking down the page you will see the Australian Curriculum marine activities by year level - Foundation year to 6 and the Link to Australian Curriculum marine lessons, activity sheets and powerpoints for the marine posters.

Similarly, on the Free Posters menu item, you will find the same links underneath the images of the primary posters.

Announcement on AUSMEPAs entry onto Scootle

AUSMEPA joins Scootles digital portal designed exclusively to assist those school teachers wanting to find education resources for their classroom session plans. Below find an example of how to find us by simply searching on 'rockpool'.

Marine Teachers Association QLD (MTAQ) conference

MTAQ are one of the most enthusiastic groups that AUSMEPA has the pleasure of working with and their conferences are a highlight. This year it was held in the heart of the Sunshine Coast at Mooloolaba. The group were welcomed by the Gubbi Gubbi, traditional owners, and their sunset presentation underlined the value of keeping and sharing knowledge.

The keynote speaker was Dr Adrian McCallum who is noted as a specialist in remote area science including Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. (See here for an article on his expedition).

Sunshine Coast University provided other interesting speakers and engaging activities including a ghost crab hole hunt.

Cleaner Greener Schools - QLD Art Sculpture Competition 10-16 Nov.

For seafarers –

North East Shipping Management Plan

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) have kindly brought to our attention the release of its North East Shipping Management Plan (here) .

Writing in the forward to the report, AMSA CEO Mick Kinley stated,  "The ocean waters of north-eastern Australia are unquestionably one of the most important natural areas of Australia. Shipping is a key use of this area, and is expected to grow into the future."
"The North-East Shipping Management Plan aims to give Australians confidence in how the growth of shipping area is managed concomitant with growth in commodity flows and associated infrastructure such as ports."
"It is our hope that the North-East Shipping Management Plan will increase community
awareness and understanding of Australia's shipping management regime."

Barrier Reef shipping route gets IMO backing

Danielle Shaw reported in Lloyd's List Australia on Aug 29,2104, "that a ship routing measure in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) that aims to reduce collisions and groundings will be officially recognised by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) from December 1"

The two-way route extending from the Torres Strait to the southern end of the GBR separates opposing streams of traffic. It is thought that this will reduce the risk of collisions and groundings, as it keeps ships away from shoals, reefs and islands.

AUSMEPA sponsors and supporters -

Winning formula leads to good statistics

We've been watching our website statistics and they are getting better and better. Most recently we have seen over 500 people visit the site during the week and on average they've perused 6 pages or more each. These figures are not built up by odd casual visitors however we are finding that over 80% are new visitors. The word continues to spread!

Ocean Whispers

Throughout the year AUSMEPA have worked to share interesting and diverse ideas through our blog. Here is a small selection:





Recognising our own



Click here to download the Annual Membership form and Tax Invoice


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