Category Archives: Events

World Oceans Day a good reminder

world oceans day title

This year, 8 June marks World Oceans Day – a global day for celebrating our oceans which make up 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface and are home to a vast array of complex ecosystems.

The ocean is the heart of our planet. Like your heart pumping blood to every part of your body, the ocean connects people across the Earth, no matter where we live. The ocean regulates the climate, feeds millions of people every year, produces most of the oxygen we breathe, is the home to an incredible array of wildlife, provides us with important medicines, and so much more! In order to ensure the health and safety of our communities and future generations, it’s imperative that we take the responsibility to care for the ocean as it cares for us.” – WorldOceansDay.org

This year’s World Oceans Day theme is “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet” and individuals across the planet are taking action for prevention of plastic pollution in our ocean.

The problem with plastic

Plastic pollution is a serious threat to both our oceans and our future. Plastic degrades very slowly, polluting waterways for a very long time with some plastics never being recovered because they eventually brake down into micro plastics.

Once plastic starts to break down into tiny pieces, it then impacts the health of our aquatic animals as they mistake microbeads for food and so begins its cycle through the food chain – you and I not excluded.

micro plastics

For these reasons, plastic pollution is an important message that we aim to deliver in most of our programs – including the Ocean Life Discovery for early learners and in particular, the Human Impact: The Earth Under Threat program for schools and vacation care students.

At Ocean Life Education, we celebrate our oceans and the animals that live within them every day.

We love taking our ocean creatures to visit young children and school students to learn about the amazing creatures that live in our oceans and waterways and why it’s important to protect those environments.

world oceans day kids

Ocean Life Discovery Program at New Leaf Early Learning Centre Forest Glen

What can you do?

You can celebrate the ocean every day too by thinking about how you can lessen your impact:

  • Think about what you put down your sink – it all ends up somewhere! Start using Earth-friendly or natural products in your home.
  • Pick up rubbish from the beach on your next walk, don’t just walk passed it and hope someone else will. If we all just took 3 items…
  • Educate your children. Talk about the ocean, the animals that live and depend on it. Take them to the beach, your local river or go snorkelling. Share the wonder and inspire them to learn more.

Want us to come and deliver a fun and educational workshop at your centre or school? Contact us today!

A Marine Educator following in her fathers’ footsteps

Katie-Anne Beale with students

Ocean Life Education presenter, Katie with students at Kids in Action 2014

By Alison Cooper

Being a Marine Education Officer at Ocean Life Education isn’t a job that comes naturally to just anyone. Katie-Anne has been helping us to inspire children and students to care for the environment since 2013 but her passion for environmental education started much earlier in life.

Katie grew up in a community-focused family committed to environmental protection and awareness. Her father, Derek Foster, recently won the Sunshine Coast Council Australia Day Award, Environment, for his continued leadership and advocacy work with local community groups.

Since Katie can remember, her father has been involved with the Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary in Bli Bli on the Sunshine Coast. At that time he was a Marine Science teacher at Burnside State High School and subsequently the regional Environmental Education consultant. He designed and was central to the establishment of the Sanctuary and the Bilai Environmental Education Centre located within it.

“Dad was always taking me on marine camps, going sailing and canoeing and hanging out down at the Wetlands.

“I suppose you could say this started my love for the environment.”

Derek later worked for the Department of Primary Industries and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research as an Extension Specialist. He took on a role in Asia to coordinate new primary industries ensuring products were suitable for export to Australia and other markets.

“Dad’s job was really interesting particularly working with the aquaculture industry and disease control to make sure their products were safe for our country. I always enjoyed talking to him about his job. It was really cool when Dad got involved in the 2004 Tsunami relief project.”

As well as being a mother of two, Katie wears many hats in addition to being an Ocean Life Education Presenter. Following in her father’s footsteps, Katie is the Education Officer for the Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary. She is also Gardening Coordinator for Bli Bli State School, and has developed her own unique Environmental Music program which she runs during school holidays through the Sunshine Coast Council.

“I love my job with Ocean Life Education as we’re always supporting different events and community initiatives to teach marine conservation. Last year, Dad and I got to work on the same project with the Kids in Action Conference run through the Council which was pretty cool.”

Richard Coward with Derek Foster and Michael Gilles

Pictured: Richard (middle) with Derek (right) and Michael Gilles from SCC at the 2014 Kids in Action Environment Day.

 

In 2014, Ocean Life Education delivered the Rocky Foreshores activity as part of the Sunshine Coast Kids in Action Environmental Projects Day.

Katie’s Dad was also there on behalf of the Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary delivering the Explore Estuarine Ecosystems activity where he took kids fishing and discussed the importance of mangroves in fish lifecycles as a breeding ground.

“It’s pretty cool when you can share the same passion for the environment with your Dad.

“The Sunshine Coast has a great network of community groups working to protect the environment in which we live and I really enjoy being a part of that. It’s even better when you can follow in your Dad’s footsteps doing a job you love passing on the knowledge you have to the next generation.”

girl on rocky foreshorePictured: Ocean Life Education’s Rocky Foreshore program at Kids in Action 2014

 

Ocean Life Education will be back with the Kids in Action group again in August this year delivering the Rocky Foreshores program at Point Cartwright and Shelly Beach.

For more information about Kids in Action, visit the Sunshine Coast Council’s website.

If you have an event you would like us to be involved in, visit our Events Program page.