The Mackay Marine Classroom begins for 2015

The first week of August saw the start of the Mackay Marine Classroom for 2015. The first school we had out was Sarina High School’s year 11 Marine Science class. It was a fantastic week of conducting reef surveys, marine debris surveys and some bush regeneration just to top it off.

It was a fantastic week of conducting reef surveys, marine debris surveys and some bush regeneration just to top it off. The students spent the previous few weeks undertaking the online training for the Eye on the Reef program. This allowed them to conduct a survey on the heath and the key indicator species numbers on the coral reef in Western Bay on Brampton Island. The data collected will be uploaded onto the Internet back at school and the students will be able to see how the reef is changing as the students complete this survey over the years.

The marine Debris survey was done on Western Beach, the students cleaned the entire beach and then sorted the debris into categories according to the Tangaroa Blue survey methods. This data is also uploaded onto the Internet and the students can see this and other beaches data that have been cleaned in the local area and Australia wide. The group was shocked by the amount of identifiable drink bottle containers that didn’t look like they travelled that far. They have all vowed to make sure they and others they know are more thoughtful in the future, of both how they use plastics and how they dispose of them.

The final activity the students were set was to do some weeding to help regenerate and endangered patch of beach scrub. Many of the group said they never thought they would ever weed anything in their life but they are now all hooked with how rewarding it was. They are also going home to tell friends and family if they have weeds growing in their gardens and one would hope, help to remove them.

All in all it was a great week and this partnership between WildMob and Reef Catchments is sure to continue when you see how much the schools get out of it.

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Get a students perspective of their environment by checking out the fantastic photos they take.
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