Author Archives: oceanlifeeducation

Best Christmas Holiday Beach Activities

There are so many awesome things to do on the beach that will keep everyone occupied for hours this Christmas holiday. The beach is a great place to have fun while learning about the ocean without even knowing it!

Here’s Ocean Life Educations’ guide to the best beach activities this Christmas holiday

1. Make a Christmas Sand Sculpture 

Tools: one large bucket, various sized smaller buckets and cups and bowls, wooden spatula, beach spade.

Carving tools: gardening spade, paper straws, wooden kebab spears, knives, forks, spoons, string for shaving and shaping, various sized paint brushes, plastic spray bottle filled with fresh water (to stop sand drying out) – salt water will block the spray.

Note. Always try to take as little plastic to the beach as possible. Even with the best intentions, things often get lost in the sand. 

Christmas Sand Sculpture Method:

🐠 Choose your festive theme

Maybe start off with a simple idea like a Xmas tree or why not just go for it and get straight down to a Santa bearing gifts!

🐠 Use a big bucket to make a base

Cut the bottom out of an old bucket, turn it upside down and fill it with sand to create a stable base which is too heavy to flip up. See details of how to fill the bucket below…

🐠 Sand consistency is key

Sand consistency is key to success. Add sand to water, not water to sand. Sand needs to be wet but not slushy and not powdery and dry – like a mud consistency really.

🐠  Pack the sand in the bucket 

Pack the sand in the bucket – no more than 7cm thick at a time. Use a wooden spatula to ensure you are firmly packing down the sand as you go. Keep adding like this until the bucket is full. Tap the sides of the bucket with your spatula and if the consistency is good, you should easily be able to remove the bucket to expose your foundation sand block. 

🐠 Build up your base 

Keep adding more sand to your base and compacting it, 7cms at a time, until you have achieved the size and height that you require for your design.

🐠  Carve your sand sculpture 

You are now ready to start work on carving your creation! Remember to carve your sand sculpture from the top down. Create your basic outline and get rid of any unwanted sand. Now it’s time to get down to the detail…

Happy sand carving!

 

2. Go Rock Pooling

Both adults and budding marine biologists will love discovering the black sea cucumbers, rose barnacles and sea stars plus many more creatures that make their home in the waters of rocky shoreline areas. Here are some great places to go rock pooling at low tide…

🦀 Point Cartwright, Buddina

A local treasure between the river mouth and the headland. Bountiful sandy rock pools with loads to see, perfect for kids to explore safely at low tide.

 

 

🦀 Kings Beach, Caloundra

Sheltered rock pools with abundant marine life and plenty more to do.

 

 

 

🦀 Shelly Beach

Renowned for its ankle-deep rock pools that abound with marine life.

 

 

 

Remember to stay safe and be mindful of the tide! And…don’t put your hands in where you cant see what’s there. You never know, there may be a Blue Ringed Octopus lurking around!!!!

Happy hunting! 🦀🦀

Want to know more about rockpools? Check out our blog : https://www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/rock-pools-rock/

 

3. Get Crafty – make a sustainable Christmas tree or mobile

 

 

 

 

Sustainable driftwood Christmas trees and hanging mobiles made with washed up plastic or glass make great sustainable Christmas decorations. Adding lights and other decorations to a tree will really give it a Xmasy glow.

 

PROTECT OUR BEACHES

We don’t encourage people to remove shells from the beach. The beach needs them more than we do. If you are tempted, please ensure you return them to where you found them!

PLASTIC FREE BEACHES

Try not to take any plastic to the beach, things often get accidentally lost in the sand and can end up in the sea.

Enjoy the ocean and have a Merry Christmas from the team at Ocean Life Education!

Bringing Nature into the Classroom

 

“Bringing nature into the classroom can kindle a fascination and passion for the diversity of life on earth and motivate a sense of responsibility to safeguard it”,

Sir David Attenborough.

 

Ocean Life Education’s Director of Education, Richard Coward, is a firm believer that education is the key to protecting the ocean. So, Richard has spent the past 14 years visiting schools, early learning centres and community events, passionately educating and inspiring young minds to feel a responsibility to protect the our seas.

“Our goal is to educate Australians about how our lives are interconnected with our oceans and to inspire them to feel a responsibility to take action to protect them”, Richard Coward, Director of Education, Ocean Life Education.

 

A Passion for Protecting the Ocean

Ocean Life Education was set up in 2006 by Director of Education and Marine Biologist, Richard Coward. Richard studied Marine Ecology at Queensland’s Griffith University and commenced his career running Sunshine Coast’s Underwater World education programs and was later promoted to Curator of Fishes.

Richard went on to work on the creation of a new aquarium in South Korea. Whilst diving in the ocean, he was astonished by the complete lack of marine life. This was the first time he had experienced first-hand the devastating consequences of human impact caused by over-fishing. This education inspired him to take action. Richard saw this as a wakeup call and was determined this was not going to be allowed to happen in Australia. Thus, his passion for protecting the ocean was born.

Richard’s career went off down many paths: managing exhibits in aquariums worldwide and working with sharks, seals, penguins, turtles, sea jellies, fish, octopus, and invertebrates, to name a few.  He has been involved in research projects and breeding programs as well as whale rescue and his knowledge has frequently been reported on television, including a whole feature on the Totally Wild television show. Throughout all this, promoting conservation has always been at the heart of what he does.

 

Taking the Ocean into the Classroom

Richard soon realised that educating future generations was the key to them understanding why the ocean is so important to us and inspiring them to take action to protect it. “You protect what you love”, he quotes.

But many children were unable to get to the ocean or even to an aquarium to experience ocean life first-hand, so the idea of taking the ocean to the classroom was hatched and Ocean Life Education was born.

 

Our Programs & Marine Educators

Since 2006, Ocean Life Education has promoted the protection of our oceans to hundreds and thousands of Australians throughout Queensland and New South Wales. Our aim is to bring the sea to the community or classroom.  Marine educators arrive with live marine animals, fascinating artefacts, games and resources and students get a hands-on experience interacting with the animals. They hopefully finish off knowledgeable and inspired to want to protect the ocean and passionate to tell their friends and families why they should do the same.

                       

Our Programs

Early Learning – Ocean Discovery Program https://www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/programs/early-learning/

Primary – Curriculum based and tailored themes and activities https://www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/programs/primary-schools/

Holiday Programs (OSHC) – Human Impact, Sharks, Weird & Wonderful https://www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/programs/holiday-program/

High School – Curriculum based and tailored themes and activities https://www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/programs/high-school/

Events – live marine displays, beach walks, lectures, workshops (tailored to requirement) https://www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/programs/events/

 

Further reading

For more information about what we can all do to protect the ocean, check out our blog:

https://www.oceanlifeeducation.com.au/how-can-i-protect-the-ocean/

 

Hope to see you soon!

 

Celebrate SeaWeek Australia

What is SeaWeek Australia?

SeaWeek Australia is an annual celebration of the sea. It is a major public awareness campaign which aims to educate and encourage appreciation of the sea. For us at Ocean Life Education, SeaWeek Australia is the busiest time of the year and a great opportunity to further increase school and community focus on the deeply woven relationship we have with our majestic ocean and how our survival is underpinned by the health of our oceans.

Check out the foot of our blog for ideas of how you can celebrate SeaWeek.

SeaWeek 2020, 12-18 September

SeaWeek 2020 focused on the theme that “The Ocean Supports A Great Diversity of Life and Ecosystems”.

Our oceans support most life on earth. As over 70% of the Earth’s surface is underwater, it comes as no surprise that marine species outnumber those on land – an incredible 94 per cent of the Earth’s living species exist within the oceans.

Being an enormous island, Australia has one of the largest ocean territories in the world. Australian Oceans support an immense diversity of life and ecosystems. From the warm waters of tropical Queensland, to the cool Tasman Sea, a staggering range of animals, plants and other life forms call our oceans their home.

And it is not just marine life that is supported by the ocean, we humans depend on our oceans too! On average, we each consume around 25 kilograms of seafood every year, so we rely on it for our food and for economic benefit and jobs. If that’s not enough, we also rely on the ocean for: oxygen, carbon dioxide absorption, climate regulation, breakdown and removal of waste, marine transportation, medicine, tourism, recreation, and fun. The list goes on!

Check out our Blog  ‘Ten Reasons Why We Depend on Our Oceans’ for more details.

When is SeaWeek Australia 2021?

SeaWeek Australia 2021 is planned for 29 Feb – 8 March 2021 (tbc)

How Can Schools Celebrate Seaweek 2021?

We have lots of ideas for School events and activities to help schools celebrate SeaWeek 2011 in may ways. We are increasing our website resources all the time, so keep checking our Primary and Resources pages. Or why not book one of our interactive Programs to give the kids a real hands-on experience of marine creatures!
Here are some great ideas to get you started…

*Decorate your classroom or childcare setting
*Plastic free class challenge – no plastic in lunch boxes for a day/ week
*Record class plastic usage for a day – pledge to refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle
*Book an ocean-focused incursion or excursion
*Organize a beach clean (& BBQ?) or visit a local beach

*Host an ocean themed coloring or drawing competition
*Fundraise to support a local coast care charity e.g. Coolum Coast Care, Ocean Crusaders, Sea Shepherd

 SeaWeek is hosted by the AAEE (Australian Association for Environmental Education). If you are planning to run a SeaWeek event, competition, or activity, they’d love to promote it! Email: seaweek@aaee.org.au for more information.

 

 

Ocean Life Education

Ocean Life Education is dedicated to promoting the preservation of our marine environment to communities and schools.  We spend SeaWeek Australia visiting Early Learning Centres and Schools and hosting events throughout Queensland and NSW. Our programs are delivered by qualified Marine Educators with a passion for the ocean. They provide a lively, fun, and interactive experience with our live marine animals. We believe education is the key to inspiring schools and community to protect our oceans.

To join our community of Ocean Legends and become part of the solution, follow us:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/OceanLifeEducation/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ocean_life_education/

Ocean Habitats

Oceans support an immense diversity of life and ecosystems. From warm tropical waters of the Caribbean to the freezing polar regions (and from zooplankton to blue whales!) a staggering range of animals, plants and other life forms call the ocean their home. These ocean, or marine habitats, provide everything needed for survival – food, shelter, water and oxygen.

Types of Marine Habitat

Marine habitats are divided into two main zones – coastal habitats and open ocean habitats. Within these habitats there are numerous sub habitats.

Coastal Habitats

Coastal HabitatsThe coastal habitat is the region from the shoreline out to the continental shelf. Most marine creatures live in coastal habitat, although it only makes up seven percent of the ocean. Coastal habitats include intertidal zones (constantly exposed and covered by the ocean’s tides), rocky shore, mangrove, mudflats, estuaries, kelp forest, sea grass, sandy shores/beach and coral reefs

 

Open Ocean Habitats

Open Ocean HabitatsOpen Ocean Habitats are found beyond the continental shelf, this is the deep ocean. Open ocean habitats are divided into layers which include surface waters, the deep sea, and the ocean floor. It is estimated that about 10 percent of marine species live in the open ocean. They tend to be the largest and fastest, such as whales and sharks, or fish that swim in schools. Tiny marine life, such as plankton, also inhabit this zone.

 

Queensland’s Marine Habitats

Habitats ReefQueensland’s stunning coastline comprises a wide range of marine habitats. These include sandy and rocky shores, mangrove, and coral reef; with the largest reef of all, The Great Barrier Reef, located just off Queensland’s coast.

For more information on Queensland’s marine habitats, check out Ocean Life Education’s NEW Habitats video presented by our owner and Senior Marine Biologist, Richard Coward. Habitats video

For Habitats themed incursions, go to our Primary programs & resources