For the second year running Fahan school, this time with the addition of Hutchins school, from Tasmania joined Wild Mob on Brampton Island for a week of marine and environmental studies. These schools take part in the marine Wild Stars program in partnership with the Universtity of Tasmania (UTAS).
We were fortunate enough to have spectacular weather for our week of conservation work. The students continued a longitudinal quadrat study that began in 2012 at the reef in Western Bay. Being a fixed position survey, finding the same position as last year turned into a bit of an adventure but once located the quadrats were placed and the students got to work identifying everything within the quadrats adding to our ongoing dataset designed to monitor reef growth and health.
The students also took part in a marine debris survey in Oyster Bay. We cleaned the beach for 20 minutes and removed 39 kg of debris that the students then sorted, identified and recorded into categories. This data will be added to the Tangora Blue database that can be accessed by all our past and future students and over time they will be able to see the changes in types and amounts of marine debris in the area. We also got out there and did some weeding and the students put in a fantastic effort with 320kg of invasive weeds removed from 4 acres in Western Bay.
The water was so calm and clear that we couldn’t keep the students out of it with lots of snorkeling taking place at both low and high tides. Walking around the island was an eye-opener to the students as they learnt about all the different ecosystems on the islands as well as the different plants and their different uses. There was also a quick stop at the nearby resort to discuss and chat about sustainable development that is also part of the environmental studies curriculum.
All in all it was a fantastic week and the students worked very hard in every aspect and always offered to help in any way they could. A big thanks goes to the students and their teacher Aimee Woodward for making sure this camp continues to run smoothly.