AUSMEPA eNewsletter Summer 2017


  1. Draft dashboard for Maritime Emissions Portal
  2. Google media event


  1. Summers coming
  2.  "We are Ports" education project
  3. Enchanted Learning resource


  1. SmitLamnalco wins 'Environment & Safety award' at the Australian Shipping and Maritime Industry Awards 2017
  2. Port of Brisbane; Water & Marine environment management at PBPL
  3. NEW AUSMEPA Sponsor - Port of Townsville


  1. Volunteer Marine Rescue Brisbane Expo
  2. What to do in an emergency   

  3. IMO and the Sustainable Development Goals

Welcome to the summer edition of the AUSMEPA marine education e-Newsletter.

Everyone at AUSMEPA wish you Merry Christmas and the very best of the season. And, as always we thank our sponsors for another great year. We couldn't do this without you.

Teekay; Smit Lamnalco; Rightship; Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA); Maritime Industry Australia Ltd (MIAL); Shell Tankers; Svitzer; HFW; Rio Tinto; GeoGas; Neda Maritime Agency (Greece); Tsakos Shipping (Greece); Sun Enterprises (Greece); Australian Maritime College (AMC); Port of Brisbane; Port of Townsville; SeaRoad Shipping; Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ); Shipping Australia Ltd (SAL); SeaLink Travel Group; Brisbane Marine Pilots; Tactical Maritime Solutions; Australian Maritime Systems (AMS)


Marine traffic is becoming a bigger and bigger part of our lives whether you are aware of it or not. Most all of the goods we buy in Australia come from somewhere else. Too expensive to ship by air, most all come by sea. To give you a little idea of this check out the image below

(Permission to use image courtesy of Port Vision)

AUSMEPA works with the maritime sector, our greatest supporters, to assist the environmental leaders in the sector to protect the marine environment. As an organisation based in education we currently work in partnership with Google, Rightship in development of a game-changing tool to measure ship emissions, the Maritime Emissions Portal (MEP). There is no other like it and around the world and future thinking stakeholders are lining up to participate in the evolution of this new tool.

Draft of Dashboard for MEP

Here is a sample dashboard that will help guide development of the MEP product.

Google celebrates and supports Australian projects fused with technology

Google Australia has done an amazing amount of investment in progressing good ideas married to technology in Australia. This October they held a wonderful Gala to celebrate Australian projects funded under their Google Challenge in 2016. The image below has our own Executive Officer, Julie Nash right in the middle, and also Chairman Warwick Norman representing AUSMEPA.

Lucky enough to be one of the ten 2016 very diverse project recipients, AUSMEPA received vital seed funding for it's Maritime Emissions Portal tool. The MEP tool will provide ships and ports and environmental managers with validated measurements of emissions from shipping on a port to port basis. The project meets a need. Real time data of this nature has been a gap area of knowledge needed to assist managers and decision makers.

The 2016 Google Challenge in Australia was the second held here. A rather incredible honour as they usually offer this challenge up only once per country. More amazing still is that they were so impressed with the quality of submissions from Australia that there will be a THIRD challenge here in 2018. Their promise is a minimum commitment of 5 million dollars "inviting charities and nonprofits to propose technology-driven solutions to challenges facing our society."

Thank you Google, from all of us Downunder.


Summer is coming and rockpools beckon
Can you feel it? Spring and Summertime are the perfect time for educators to connect and engage students with Australia's beautiful water environments. AUSMEPA Primary School posters are perfect to light up students for learning with Science and SOSE themes and perhaps an excursion to your favourite seaside destination. Our educators introduction page can be found here

So you wouldn't mind a trip to the sea? Click here for a Year 6 activity, Survival in a Rockpool, that you might consider for your rockpool excursion. You can find other year level activities here

"We are Ports" Year 9 Geography Interconnections Education Competition

"Please pass on my congratulations to your writer(s), the tasks engaged my class and stimulated lots of discussion. Fantastic Unit!" Bunbury Senior HIgh School

Using the We are Ports website AUSMEPA education expert Bob Winters has developed a comprehensive unit of work within the study area of Geography. The testimonial you see above is just one of many telling us that this area of study is in demand. Year 9 teachers wishing to give their students something special will want to visit the free resource

Additionally, a workshop at this years Geography Teachers Association of Victoria demonstrated to teachers how they can apply geospatial technologies using the curriculum materials developed for "We are Ports." These activities use a wide range of online geospatial resources to help research how ships and ports interconnect the world. It shows teachers how these technologies are powerful tools to answer real, current, geographical questions.   

"Bob Winters has run some superb workshops on this e.g. at our Annual Conference and other events, so I thoroughly recommend approaching him for this. It is a fantastic resource where the boxes for spatial technology have been ticked for Geographies of Interconnections for Level 9.  Very engaging for students." ...Geography Teachers Association

"We are currently working on the unit. Last week we were able to visit the Port and I am a few lessons into the unit you have written up. The content is really relevant and the kids are enjoying doing and seeing something different. There are lot's of geographic skills that they can practice and the websites and activities are interactive… Darwin

Enchanted Learning website

Teachers and students may have fun looking at this website. Since there is only one ocean there are many similar or same animals and issues throughout. In specific sea regions there may be a higher endemism, like Australia. This website provides some good general information on the world's corals and coral reef printouts of animals that have counterparts here. Perhaps it may be interesting to see which are found here and which are not.


Smit Lamnalco wins
A HUGE congratulations to GOLD sponsors Smit Lamnalco Winning the Award for Environment & Safety at the 2017 Australian Shipping and Maritime Industry Awards.

"Our submission was based on an initiative by our MD, David Fethers, called the 'Master Incapacitated Training'. We train our Deckhands to be have a minimum level of competency in operating the tug so that they can take the helm in the event of the Master suffering incapacitation, for example a heart attack. The training comprised some time spent in a simulator and some training on the water".  Ben Hart. Contract Manager. Smit Lamnalco

Another HUGE congratulations to SILVER sponsors Port of Brisbane for winning the Port or Terminal of the Year at the 2017 Australian Shipping and Maritime Industry Awards.

Water & Marine environment management at  Port of Brisbane
It is a delight to watch industry and commerce engage in community good works, particularly where the environment is improved.
Port of Brisbane has been active on several fronts however there are two initiatives that are specially relevant to marine waters.

Working with a diverse range of partners PBPL has contributed $500,000 to fund a pilot project and committed an extra $500,000 to a stormwater treatment project in the Lockyer Valley, Queensland's first of it's kind. Based on science it mitigates a range of contaminants that would otherwise flow downstream into the bay.

It is well known by environmental overseers that sediments smother seagrasses and corals robbing other animals of food they need. In the first year this project prevented 200 truckloads of dirt from flowing downstream. The sediments are only one aspect of the improvements. See the full story here and see videos here.

Port of Townsville - NEW  BRONZE sponsors 

We welcome the Port of Townsville to the AUSMEPA family.

"Port of Townsville Limited (POTL) manage the ports of Townsville and Lucinda and both ports are located within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area operating within close proximity to a number of sensitive environments.   POTL operates under an Environmental Management System (EMS) accredited to International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 14001:2015
and is committed to the protection of the environment, and sustainable development and operation through responsible environmental management.  POTL strives to continually improve both environmental performance and the effectiveness of its controls via the EMS." ... Sharon Hoops, Management Corporate Affairs


Volunteer Marine Rescue Brisbane Expo at Shorncliffe in Sept 2017
VMRB pride themselves on providing a safer marine environment for their community. But it doesn't stop there. They have become vectors for the wider community to learn about a plethora of other emergency services, marine education and recreation by promoting safe water practices.

Since 1948 they have celebrated the opening of the sailing season with a `Blessing of the Fleet' and a `Sail Past' of all the vessels involved on the day. This has evolved into their annual Emergency & Community  Services Expo which is part of a statewide campaign to get families ready for the bushfire and storm season.

This year the gala event hosted 36 organisations including the Port of Brisbane who shared their stall with AUSMEPA. It was a beautiful and fun day for all.

What to do in an emergency
Do you know what to do in an emergency when you are on the water?
The ocean is a big space. You can save yourself and others grief by being prepared for the unforeseen.

  1. Log an emergency call
  2. Know who to contact to tow your boat
  3. Understand the difference in terminology, e.g. Pan Pan or Mayday
  4. Have a checklist in case you have to abandon ship

Find out more at


10 years on is a perfect time to congratulate NAMEPA for their unfailing dedication and commitment to protecting the marine environment along northern shores through environmental action and education. Find out more about their education resources here.

New study increases effective decision-making for coastal marine ecosystems
The Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) has announced a new study that may assist decision makers attempting to rehabilitate vital coastal buffering ecosystems.. The news from CEED is that "Marine restoration, rather than protection, might be the most cost-effective solution for coastal marine ecosystems suffering from human activities". "The study examined how to best benefit coastal marine ecosystems on limited conservation budgets, to help managers better understand the trade-offs."

Even more reason to support citizen science and friends groups in cooperation with decision makers and scientists.

The Hellenic Marine Protection Association (HELMEPA) is the founding member of the group of associations called the International Marine Environment Protection Association (INTERMEPA). The initiatives HELMEPA underline are awareness, respect and education for the ocean. Their influence has spread worldwide with Australia joining hands with other MEPAs in June 2000, seventeen years ago.

HELMEPA efforts to raise awareness and action with schools has meant a significant change to how the seas are treated in their region. Please feel free to find out more through their newsletter and about their children's programs here or more about the wider activities including raising the bar on shipping practices here.

IMO and the Sustainable Development Goals
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals - In 2015, 193 countries adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

IMO and the Sustainabe Development Goals_wheel graphic_FINAL_small thumbnail.jpg

Focusing on SDG number 14, LIFE BELOW WATER, to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) speaks to its responsibility to have measures to improve safety and security of ships as well as prevent pollution from international ships.

"To be sustainable, human activities have to be balanced with the ocean's capacity to remain healthy and diverse in the long term". Protecting marine biodiversity is one of their key themes and their work includes mitigation of many threats from sea transport from invasive marine species to harmful litter reduction. Read more here.

The AUSMEPA Board of Directors would like to sincerely thank our loyal sponsors. Without your support we could not continue with our endeavours to educate our next generation on the importance of keeping our marine environment clean and healthy.


AUSMEPA is a not-for-profit supported by leading maritime companies, individuals and organisations. Funds raised are used to create no-cost, innovative and practical educational resources for schools, seafarers and other users of the marine environment. click here to read more


Share This Email

   LinkedIn Share Button

This email was sent by Ausmepa