AUSMEPA Bulletin Spring 2009

30 September 09

AusmepaNot everyone is aware that there can be environmental benefits to Australia's low rainfall issues. Without rain the runoff pollution from roads, gardens, industry and agriculture isn't transported by drains into our precious rivers, creeks and productive coastal zones. Unfortunately the story changes when the storms do come cleaning out the accumulation in drains and pushing big plugs of pollution out into our waterways and into the sea.

Proliferation of seaweeds (algae) may occur when runoff carries nutrients into coastal waters and there can be repercussions. Recent news of health problems and deaths in France and England have prompted an AUSMEPA media release

It is hard to keep up with all of the new and vibrant information emerging on ocean issues, education and protection. Ocean Whispers is a new blog spot that you might like to view, join or contribute to


The highly regarded literacy books 'Kids and Water' are now available online. They are a must read for teachers looking to incorporate marine education into their workplans. Find them at

OceanNews was provided to us recently from our Education Partners, Reef Watch SA, advising of a new more environmentally friendly fishing line. Bioline advertises that its biofilament fishing line degrades in the environment in five years. Nice to hear that some recreational manufacturers and suppliers are moving in this direction and we'll hope to hear of more such enterprises!

It sounds like there will be lots of fun at the 2009 Solar Boat Challenge at the Sydney International Regatta Centre on Friday 25th September 2009. Wire guided model boats (Primary Schools) and Remote control model boats (Secondary Schools) will be in the challenge. For more information visit

If you haven't investigated it yet please have a look at ClimateWatch

It is run by Earthwatch Australia, in partnership with the Bureau of Meteorology, the University of Melbourne and Land & Water Australia. It was developed in order to understand the effects that climate change is having on Australia's plants and animals.

ClimateWatch aims to create an online database for environmental scientists studying the effects of climate change and is the first project of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. You can help!

MarineVolunteer observers, or citizen scientists, around Australia can record their observations of natural events online. As an example the marine indicator species to look out for are Blue Bottles (Man-o-War) and Blue Blubber (Mosaic jelly). If you've spotted Blue Bottle Jellyfish, Physalia utriculus (as seen on website)
some you can record your observation, Photo © courtesy Queensland Museum, Jeff Wright online, after you've registered of course!

It is a delight to announce that the Board of the Australian Marine Environment Protection Association is seeking nominations for the AUSMEPA Environmental Award for 2010. The Award is presented to worthy recipients to recognise and promote achievements, innovation and best practice in minimising marine pollution and the protection of the marine environment. It can be awarded to individuals, community groups, businesses and government agencies or departments. Nominations are sought from the environmental community as well as business and other organisations. Nominations should be submitted by 30 October 2009 to:
AUSMEPA Executive Director, PO Box 4282, HAWKER, ACT 2614 by 30 October 2009

AUSMEPA has marked World Maritime Day 2009 by announcing the launch of the 2nd edition of its seafarer educational DVD Welcome to Australia protecting our marine environment. The DVD describes the importance of Australia's unique marine environment and reminds ship masters and their crews of their obligations under The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). The English version (one of seven language variations of the DVD) can be viewed on the AUSMEPA website.

We are always looking for partnership opportunities that promote marine education and action for the environment. A partnership is viable where it is mutually beneficial and has sustainability solutions. Some partnerships are just a value add to activities already underway. Other partnerships stem from good ideas that find grant or sponsorship funding. How can we work with you? Let us know.

Many of our Education Partners are environmental education providers. They have found that providing our poster packs to visiting teachers gives the school an extra boost in the form of pre (or post) visit study materials.

If you would like to receive our folder with 8 education posters please contact Jody Plecas by email at:

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