Wednesday, January 6, 2010

SUMMER BY THE SEA along the coast of VICTORIA

Every once in awhile somebody comes up with a brilliant idea and the timing is right so that it actually is born despite the pitfalls of bureaucracy. In 1995 a state government program, Coast Action, introduced an innovative program using established community expertise to interact with the public. It aimed to raise awareness and highlight action for marine and coastal conservation on a rather grand scale. Taking advantage of summer school holidays when most families are out enjoying some time in the sun the Summer by the Sea program was put into place.

Formula for success? You betcha and soon the national program CoastCare joined with Coast Action to make it even better, offering even more opportunities and extra support for community groups. Most activities are provided for free or for a minimal charge.

Although Summer by the Sea has gone through many iterations large and small this gem of an idea has provided thousands of families with a host of wonderful opportunities to get out and learn about their local environments. The concept has drawn on the expertise and action of private contractors and active environmental community associations to deliver wide ranging activities that anyone can participate in. Having fun and learning about the ocean and coasts for free, could there be anything better?

If you are in Victoria during January 2010 you should go out of your way to take the family along and have some fun while supporting this excellent initiative. If you live somewhere else you should be asking why you don't have a similar program!

For the full booklet of Summer by the Sea January 2010 activities click here

To speak with a Coast Action/CoastCare facilitator click here

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