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Give Something Back To Nature

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The National Aquarium of New Zealand is preparing for Seaweek 2019, hosting two presentations and partnering with Taradale Library, PangeaSeed and Birds New Zealand for a series of walks and talks.

There are several new events this year, including a scavenger hunt through the Napier CBD, a guided walk at Waitangi Regional Park, and a rocky shore exploration session at Hardinge Road, Ahuriri, with Sally Carson from the Otago Marine Studies Centre.

Hosted by the NZ Association for Environmental Education (NZAEE), Seaweek is about inspiring all New Zealanders to renew their connections with the oceans.

For 2019 the theme is Tiakina o Tātou Mōana – Care for our Seas.

Back by popular demand are events such as the tours taking in the sights of the Seawalls murals, a collaborative effort by artist and PangeaSeed Foundation NZ Coordinator Cinzah Merkens, and Regional Seaweek Coordinator Jake Brookie. Jake is also an educator at the National Aquarium of New Zealand (NANZ), which is recognised nationally as an official supporter of Seaweek.

The Royal Society Seaweek Lecture, by Cawthorn Institute researcher Heni Unwin, is about a topic which has been very much on many people’s minds lately – tracking plastic movement around New Zealand’s waters. International artist George Nuku also returns to MTG Hawke’s Bay to host two-floor talks with Curator of Art Jess Mio, including one catering for the deaf community, talking about the effect of plastics in our oceans.

The focus on how people can take part in caring for the sea is a welcome one, says Jake Brookie, Seaweek Regional Coordinator. “People often see science as a school subject or a profession, but science is a way of looking at the world – observing, questioning, testing and sharing, meaning we can all be scientists.”

Jake coordinates a passionate group who hosts Seaweek events across Hawke’s Bay. “I’d like to thank everyone on the Seaweek team for their enthusiasm and effort. Seaweek just wouldn’t happen without the strength that comes from our ideas.”

Children’s Day, a day of national awareness annually recognised on the first Sunday in March, falls within Seaweek, which runs from 2 to 10 March. The National Aquarium is offering free entry for one child 14 years and under with one paying adult on this day.

Another Seaweek activity for kids, decorating calico bags, as a great alternative to plastic ones, will also be available there on this day and the following Sunday.

One of the greatest purposes of aquariums is to inspire communities to take action in helping our fragile oceans, says Dr Adrian Fowler, National Aquarium Director. “But Seaweek shows that you don’t have to be a big facility to create that kind of interest: it just takes passion and people-power. Year after year, Seaweek continues to grow and engage more and more of us in learning about, enjoying and saving our oceans. Each and every one of us can get involved, show our community’s love for ocean life and make a difference.”

There are also a number of community groups which have heeded NZAEE’s call to ‘Adopt a Coastline’ for a beach clean.

If you are going on an outdoor adventure for Seaweek, don’t forget a sunhat, sunscreen, suitable shoes and water.

Other Hawke’s Bay Seaweek 2019 events include:

  •  Beach Clean Up & BBQ, 9am to 12 noon Saturday 2 March, Waitangi Regional Park.
  • Creative Arts Napier (CAN) Driftwood Art Competition
  • Library Programme, 11am to 12 noon Saturdays 2 and 9 March
  • Twilight Ahuriri Estuary Walk and Talk, 5.30pm to 7.30pm, Wednesday 6 March
  • Estuary Walk, 1pm to 3.30pm Sunday 10 March

For a full list of Seaweek 2018 events, go to www.seaweek.org.nz or www.nationalaquarium.co.nz

Photo: Some of the Hawke’s Bay Seaweek team, from left, Jake Brookie, Regional Seaweek Coordinator, Cinzah Merkens, artist and PangeaSeed Foundation NZ Coordinator, Jacque Wilton, Educator, National Aquarium of NZ (NANZ), Louise McNamara, Community Ranger, Department of Conservation, Karlie Lett, Educator, NANZ, and Lynne Anderson, volunteer, Birds New Zealand.

Posted: 15 February 2019




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