Marine kaitiaki snorkel Poor Knights Marine Reserve

Department of Conservation —  17/07/2017

A group of students from Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, Taranaki, Gisborne, Wellington, Nelson and Otago were recently invited on a special trip to Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve.

Observing life beneath the surface_credit darryl torckler (002)

Photo: Darryl Torckler

The trip was the sixteenth annual Experiencing Marine Reserves Poor Knights competition prize, acknowledging students’ marine conservation action projects, sponsored by Dive! Tutukaka.

The winning students were involved in a variety of projects that addressed local marine issues such as campaigning council to change from plastic coated to paper parking tickets, storm water projects, and writing letters to Members of Parliament.

Judges were impressed by the passion these students demonstrated to protect the marine environment for future generations.

“This amazing trip has created many kaitiaki Tangaroa for the future. I know they will feel empowered to support marine conservation”

Karen McLean, Parent

Marine kaitiaki_group photo_credit darryl torckler (002)

Photo: Darryl Torckler

Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) is a marine conservation education programme focused on facilitating experiential learning opportunities. Since its introduction in Northland in 2002, programme uptake has continued to increase throughout the country.

DOC is a foundation partner of the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust, the umbrella organisation for the EMR and Whitebait Connection education programmes. The DOC Community Fund supports the national expansion and community engagement activities of both education programmes.

Snorkelling_credit Lorna Doogan (002)

Photo: Lorna Doogan

The concept of EMR is to engage schools and communities by providing the equipment and expertise for hands-on learning experiences in the ocean. The programme involves learning about marine biodiversity in the classroom, learning to snorkel in the pool, investigating local marine environments, and then venturing to a fully protected marine reserve. After this experience, students can compare unprotected and protected areas and are then supported to put their knowledge into action within their local community.

See how your local schools can get involved in the Experiencing Marine Reserves programme on the EMR website.