Sunday, December 27, 2009

To Save Our Planet, Save the Seas

To Save the Planet, Save the Seas a New York Times article by DAN LAFFOLEY Published: December 26, 2009 and highlighted to us by a terrific blog site Oceanic Defense.

In the article Dan articluates some positive progress in Copenhagen with the Reducing Emissions From Deforestation and Forest Degradation program. He expands on the value of using the power of nature and its environmental services to solve some of our problems. It is important to keep this awakening going with our friends, neighbours and whomever will listen.

I'm also reminded that this article echoes many words we've already heard from Dr Sylvia Earle, New York Times, Hero for the Planet Ocean. You might like to become one of Dr Earle's friends or fans on Facebook

Monday, December 14, 2009

OCEANS DAY AT COPENHAGEN: The Importance of Oceans, Coasts, and Small Island Developing States in the Climate Regime

Oceans Day - December 14, 2009
Home | Ocean Climate:

"Home OCEAN and CLIMATE are locked in a continuous dance, the condition of one profoundly affecting the other. This powerful synergy is complicated and constantly adjusting to human interventions. Through this site, you can explore this complexity in its many forms -- the key issues and possible responses -- and express your views through our Ocean-Climate Forum. We invite you to join an interactive global conversation about ocean and climate and to engage in individual and collective efforts to address the challenging situations examined here."

View the new Ocean Climate website

For more information on Oceans Day 2009 visit:

For more information on the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands visit:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Penguin Science in the class room

It is worth having a look at this site. The research focus is Adelie penguins on Ross Island in Antarctica and change.

I've borrowed the image so you can find the page for classroom activities however there is much more of interest on this site.

Be sure to have a look at the short preview to introduce the DVD. It is free plus postage/handling.

The images are really wonderful. As the scientists begin talking about climate change a big chunk of the ice shelf behind them breaks off with penguins scattering before the surge.

You are watching the earth change right in front of you. Be sure to have a look at the seasonal timelapse on the home page -- it really does look like the earth is breathing!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"Teach Ocean" Ambassador

Bringing a special monkey madness Fred Happy Eyes has traveled to the Queensland Sunshine Coast to walk, talk, teach and swing into action for ocean protection.

Visiting from Marrowstone Island, Washington, and his second home in Hawaii, he was most impressed with Caloundra TurtleCare volunteers who watch carefully each night and morning for any turtles that have come to lay eggs.

Volunteers record all information and ensure that the nests are protected from foxes. Fred was happy to see new nests as many turtle "friends suffer from fatal sore tummies." Turtles find it hard to tell the difference between seajellies, a favourite food, and plastic bags. "Ouchie!!" said Fred.

Fred's frisky banter reminds us how much pollution affects animals. In rememberance he wears an Albatross bird band and, as noted in his interview below, Albatross are one of many birds that mistake plastic pieces for food.

Read about zany Fred's adventures on his blog SOAR. He visits schools around the world and helps his special friend Ron with Serious Sand studies! If you'd like him to visit your school send an email to Ron Hirschi.


JODY: Fred is a Happy Eyed Monkey, a rare and endangered species in the USA. Fred travels the world as an ambassador for the ocean.

FRED: Me, Fred the Monkey am so happy now sleep in warm Australia and be with fun new friend, Jody. You make me smile.

JODY: Welcome, Fred! Oooooopppsy!!
(Crash boom bang…muttering under breath…”what great Galah left that banana skin on the floor?”) Ha ha…very funny Fred.

FRED: Okay. Awake to be up with papaya and banana smoothie and talk story over questions --- ask away!!!

JODY: You are quite a busy celebrity so thanks for granting this interview while you visit the Sunshine Coast of Queensland Australia. Getting straight to the point, your young fans all want to know what your favourite colour is?

FRED: My favorite color. Easy being GREEN. You know song? I teach to Kermit. He got way wrong.

Q: Have you ever seen a game of Aussie Rules football? Do you have a favourite sport?

FRED: Woah! No, I always want to see Aussie rule. Tough scrambling. We get to see game? My favsport Monkey rules Baseball. Gotta catch ball in bare paw.

Q: Do you find the paparazzi a problem?

FRED: Paparazzi follow us here you know. Everywhere. Worse for sister Coco. She going to Law School now and gotta have guard when at class! She study endanger ocean law at UH Hilo.

Q: Where did you get that unusual necklet?

FRED: You know. Glad you ask. Nice way saying --- how you say, Necklet? We say Lei. My lei is like one girls have on at CSG. But they got special red -- little silver piece is official leg band from Albatross.

My friend, John Klaviiter, biologist way nice special man help all life on planet....he gift me, Fred with band because of work I do with Pihemanu and friends, Albatross.

Me, Fred gift girls at CSG with leg bands from Albatross because of them doing same, as we say, they Malama i ke Kai ame ka aina --- They young girls but malama (protect) ocean (kai) and land (aina) . You be watching mailbox for lei for you too!

You know, CSG girls only girls on whole planet earth with such special lei. Gift from great soaring bird, Albatross, most magnificent bird of ocean. They first wear little band on leg, gift of friend John. They fly and raise family (ohana) then when die as all life die, John give band after he know story of each bird.

Q: Is it too difficult if I ask you how long Happy Eye monkeys have been an endangered species?

FRED: Mmmmmmmm. Okay. Now I tell you Happy Eye Monkey story. Okay too. Albatross story kinda same. Happy Eye Monkey Ohana live in original homeland of Pacific Northwest Rain Forest. Tall tall trees, tall as American Rules Football Field is long, plus end zone!!!! Big.

We live in harmony centuries with S'Klallam People. My buddy Ron work with them now on their history book!!! Many S'Klallam friends same relative as when my Monkey Eyes live still there............but then people come from place called State of Maine. Build big sawmill.

Cut down all trees and no time at all (In Happy Eye Time) sister Joni have to be dialed up to sing song about all trees now in Tree Museum. Gotta have trees for Happy Eyes. So, one day, my Great Great Grandpa and Grandma hopped a little boat. Heard story on dock from man name Kahale. He play fun ukulele and talk banana and surf and warm and big fun trees with red flower in place call Kaua'i..........

Truth time. Me, Fred, I say I'm from Pacific Northwest, but you know. I born in Hanapepe down by the salt ponds. I grew up in wettest rainforest on Earth! Not so wet now........but that different story. Happy Eye Monkey now of offishall list Endanger Animal. But you know. Our aina taken away. Gotta have aina like gotta have kai.

Q: Have you ever known an Albatross well enough to hitch a ride?

FRED: Oh boy. You ask about closeness to Albatross. I ask Ron send photo of my good friends on Pihemanu. Lotta time good with albatross and not supposed tell friend John so much.....I fly one day out maybe one hundred miles with one Laysan and one Blackfoot.......just above waves, they can just glide along you know. Smooth ride. That how come we say SOAR. You will see.

Q: We’ve heard about your beach cleaning efforts in Hawaii and in the State of Washington, what makes you do it?

FRED: mmmmmmmmm.Very hard tell this story. You ask about beach cleanup. Why? I ask Ron send photo of Albatross Grave. Can not walk to sacred place without action. Hundreds and hundreds. You touch my lei, you touch this place of sadness for all ocean life on planet earth. Albatross, like in photo of me at home wearing X310........we pick up trash in memory of X310 and all magnificent albatross who die from plastic.

Mom and Dad Albatross accidentally pick up trash when feeding on ocean. You know. Ocean full of lighters, toothbrush, toy, bottle caps......and when parent bird feed baby, many baby die. Can not get plastic out throat. Sometime plastic poke hole in stomach. Sad and hard talk. Gotta say. My way cool teacher friend, Paula Vertikoff. She help me much with this. She share all my story from Pihemanu with her sons. She say, they can handle story.

Q: Columbia School for Girls said you helped them create a game about the Great Lakes in the USA. What are your plans for Aussie students?

FRED: I hope Aussie students be inspire by Leslie, Meera, Evelyn and all girls you see in my journal. Like CSG girls, maybe kiddos make new kind of game. Maybe go clean beach. Maybe make poster, PLASTIC FREE FRIDAY??? Maybe bring Fred banana and not toss to Saltie?

Most important, you know. Gotta have fun and find way to bring laugh on all faces, albatross too. So maybe Aussie kids find way to help Aussie ocean life. What kind Albatross live down under??? You got humpback whale swim wrong way too..... you know about that? Hawaii whales swim north to south to have baby. Aussie whales swim south to north. My whale buddies want meet Aussies, but not swim same water same time. Can kids paddle out on board, turn whales around?

Q: I suppose your friends in the USA will be wondering if it feels funny being ‘downunder’-- upside down?

FRED: Funny we talk whale swimming wrong way. Me, Fred the Monkey feel funny down under but yuo ask if it funny to me, Fred to be upside down.......I always upside down. monkey do that real good you know. Turn frown of people into sorta smile you know!! That why monkey be upside down lotta time. People gotta smile.

Q: We note that your manager, Ron Hirschi, has invited teachers to email questions direct to him. Does that take the stuffing out of you?

FRED: You ask about my buddy Ron wanting teachers to send questions to him. He not even have time answer anything. You know, I get stay with him a lotta time......he mostly fish, go surf, walk dog on beach. Okay, he pick up trash on beach but he go there for FUN. He take nap too and talk story with all his fishing friend like Ray and Denny and old guys like that. You should ask teachers to throw all his books out window.

Q: Were you a good student?

FRED: Me good student? Oh my.......I got nice note from teacher Ted George other day. He remember me as best at learning about season and being help to others to share each one. We got Sockeye Season (time to catch salmon), blackberry season (gottat know how to find berry and make good pie without dough breaking apart you know)and apple season (Me, Fred the Monkey get A for climbing highest in all of class to get apple for neighbor cows and pie too)...Yep, good student. You know. I like to read too. Ron make me read his favorites are fish identification books by good friend John Hoover.

JODY: Gosh darn it, Fred. Thank you so much for sharing your story. We'll look forward to hearing more about your adventures.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Windpower; successful integration in Denmark?

Energinet is the power provider in Denmark.

"Denmark has become world champ when it comes to harnessing the otherwise tough-to-control wind energy in the power system. But how? This is precisely what this film wants to clarify."

How can understandings gleaned from Denmark assist Australia? Have we maximised wind power options in our suite of potential sustainable solutions?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

End of the Line

Dr Sylvia Earle told the audience at her 2009 seminar in Brisbane that 90 percent of the big fish in the ocean have already been taken. What does it mean?

Perhaps the film End of the Line being presented by AMCS (Australian Marine Conservation Society) will provide some perspective on how this affects us and how what we do can make a difference.

"Imagine an ocean without fish. Imagine your meals without seafood. Imagine the global consequences. This is the future if we do not stop, think and act. The End of the Line is the world's first major documentary about the devastating effect of overfishing."

Brisbane Premiere:
When: Tuesday 8th December, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Where: The Regent, 167 Queen St, Brisbane City
Tickets: $15 - click here for more information

Darwin Screening:The Australian Marine Conservation Society in partnership with The Environment Centre Northern Territory present this internationally acclaimed film in Darwin.
When: 6:30pm Thursday 26 November 2009
Where: Darwin Museum Theatrette
Tickets: $10, to reserve tickets please call Prue Barnard on (08) 8941 7461 or email

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Solar goes underground!

Hidden fibres capture solar power

Something interesting from ABC Science Discovery News. The first 3-D solar panel systems have been developed that can work underground. New panels could be unobtrusive and placed in walls or under the house instead of roof tops.

What's special about the South West Coast?

Pretecting our natural treasures

Itchy fins? Have a look at this interesting clip regarding the south west corner of Australia. It was generated by Wild Australia and their website tells us that "Wild Australia is a program that recognizes that protecting Australia's significant biological resources means stemming the loss of critical habitat, managing competition from invasive species, re-establishing wildfire patterns, and curtailing the diversion of water and other development related factors that accelerate habitat loss."

Friday, October 16, 2009

Acid test: The Global Challenge of Ocean Acidification

Taken from the Natural Resources Defense Council website

"ACID TEST, a film produced by NRDC, was made to raise awareness about the largely unknown problem of ocean acidification, which poses a fundamental challenge to life in the seas and the health of the entire planet. Like global warming, ocean acidification stems from the increase of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere since the start of the Industrial Revolution."

This like other excellent uTube clips tells a story that needs to be heard! Can it translate to action?

It is up to us to reduce our consumption, help others to understand, become an example that others can follow and make our voices heard.

The clip above will assist teachers choosing to use the AUSMEPA online Climate Change and Coral Bleaching unit of work

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Ocean Defense provides excellent information and this talk is well worth watching!

We can help to stop this great diffuse aquatic garbage dump from growing. Adaptability and innovation are characteristics that made humans successful as a species. It's time to use both our brain and our brawn to accept responsibility for our own actions and clean up our mess.

Think: how can I reduce my consumption by 10% and reduce waste that can find it's way into the ocean

Ask: shop with the 'no plastic' option in mind and ask retailers to review their policies

Do: pick up and properly dispose of rubbish that has escaped into the environment and voice your concern to your politicians, media and community.

Teachers can find a free online unit of work that may assist your workplanning. It is Marine Stormwater Pollution at AUSMEPA

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mother Earth

Mother Earth
A video about Mother Planet Earth by OneEarth.Org

Is the climate changing? Watch for yourselves -- ClimateWatch

The first project of its kind in the southern hemisphere, ClimateWatch allows the community at large to get hands-on in the science of understanding climate change through simple observation of the world around them.

ClimateWatch is a monitoring program being opened up to Australians so that they can be involved in collecting and recording data to help shape the country’s scientific response to climate change.

There is an urgent need for large scale data harvesting to evaluate how natural systems are responding to climate change. There are 2 marine species nominated. The photos are taken from the website to illustrate.

One of those is the Blue Mosaic jelly or Blue Blubber,Catostylus mosaicus (above).The other is the Blue Bottle Jellyfish, Physalia utriculus, a siphonophore. Personally I can't think of a better excuse to go for a walk than to assist in this project. How easy is that? If you see either of these animals make a note and record it on the website. You will find that you educate yourself as you contribute and communicate. Find out more about the project...

NOTE: ClimateWatch was developed by Earthwatch Australia, with the support of the Bureau of Meteorology, Land and Water Australia, The University of Melbourne, corporate and government partners, and scientific collaborators.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

"How We Know What We Know: Looking at Climate Change Through Polar Science"

Friday 16 October 2009 - 9 am Alaska Daylight Time.

To join you must register online at PolarTREC. Once registered an email is sent out and downloads will be available on the website. If you can't join you should have a look at the IPY Polar Week classroom activities


What are Live events?
* These are real-time, interactive events that utilize the Internet
and phone for presentations.
* These events allow participants to learn about the research being
conducted in the polar regions.
* Events are free to the public and at minimum require a phone or
Internet access.

NOTE: To see what that time is where you live visit World Clock
For Australians(Qld)this is 3pm Sat 17th October

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mariners and Masters: DVD about Australia for your information


WELCOME TO AUSTRALIA, protecting our marine environment

The Australian Marine Environment Protection Association (AUSMEPA) has marked World Maritime Day 24 Sept 2009 by announcing the launch of the 2nd edition of its seafarer educational DVD, Welcome to Australia protecting our marine environment.

The DVD describes the importance of Australia’s unique marine environment and reminds ship masters and their crews of their obligations under The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).

The DVD was jointly produced by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and AUSMEPA. A copy of the DVD will be placed on every ship, when it first arrives in Australia, by its agent. Supplies of the DVD will be available through the Australian Shipowners Association (ASA) and Shipping Australia Ltd. (SAL) and in selected ports from the Apostleship of the Sea’s Stella Maris Seafarer Centres.

The English version (one of seven language variations of the DVD) can be viewed on the AUSMEPA website by following this link

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Giant Cuttlefish

Why do the big cuttles like South Australia so much? For more info have a look at this Catalyst article.

The narration begins..."At first glance, this rocky coastline in South Australia doesn’t look all that special. Fringed by gas refineries, lead smelters, and steel works, it’s more industrial landscape than pristine wilderness. Perched at the top of the Spencer Gulf, even its name - Point Lowly - doesn’t hold much promise.But in the eyes of the giant Australian cuttlefish, there is nowhere else on the planet to be."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery, education and research

The Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre is set to host both scientists and students at its soon to be ready purpose built marine science laboratory funded through a grant from the Ian Potter Foundation.

The laboratory will be situated adjacent to the Marine Discovery Centre and will have a viewing window so that visitors to the Centre will have the opportunity to watch research activities as they happen. Completion of the lab will be February 2010.


Ocean Literacy is a term nominated a few years ago to attempt to describe what people need to know about the sea, in particular teachers and students. As a US designed education project it has a perspective based on education principles in the USA however there has been a real effort to have a balanced yet comprehensive outline for anyone. It is presented on the College of Exploration website

Topics start with several knowledge areas then unfold into stepped themes for each age level. Never mind teaching the kids, it's even great for teachers and the community to understand better how the ocean is so connected to us and to all we do

Here you can not only find a dissection of what you need to know and teach about the sea but discover utube gems like Dr Sylvia Earle's clip on our own Great Barrier Reef and several other really interesting shorts about science and the sea.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Deadly Seaweed in Europe Could Be Just a Warning to Australians

Recent reports of death and human health concerns from France and England revolve around the humble Sea Lettuce or Ulva sp. It appears that high growth of the common algae has resulted in the cyclic die-off forming mounds of decaying weed along some shorelines. As the weed dries up it forms a white crust sealing in the gases produced as a result of decomposition. When the crust is broken highly concentrated gasses are released where the foot falls.

These high growth events are not known yet in Australia but wherever stormwater run-off carries high nutrients from the drains, creeks and rivers to shallow coastal waters Ulva becomes more prolific.

AUSMEPA and it's other Education Partners in Australia are working to educate about what stormwater brings with it and how we can change our own contribution to the problem. Learn more at

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Marine pests; finding a use for them?

This news article highlights how some think that marine pests (N Pacific Seastars) may be put to good use by harvesting for use in pharmaceuticals.

Free tips for education around marine pests can be found on units of work in AUSMEPA's Pests and Threats unit

Friday, September 4, 2009

IPMEN -- Marine knowledge in the Pacific Basin

Do you want to know what other people know? You may be interested that there is a network of teachers and scientists across the Pacific and beyond called the International Pacific Marine Educators Network (IPMEN). If you wish to listen to more whispers of that ocean network you might like to join their listserve by emailing Judy Lemus

i sea, i care

The Dolphin Research Institute has been a flagship for cleaner seas education in Port Phillip and Western Port, Victoria, Australia.

Their student ambassador program "i sea, i care" has shown itself to be a perfect example of how to look for and find partners committed to finding science and education solutions for healthy ocean outcomes. AUSMEPA solutes them.

If you've got an innovative way to encourage integration of marine conservation education into schools or communities share it with us.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sunday, August 30, 2009

KIDS AND WATER - marine education readers available online

‘Kids and Water’ marine education readers are now online! All 18 Marine readers and 4 Teacher Resource books from the Kids and Water Series can be accessed at

Great opportunity for teachers wanting to integrate marine education into their workplans.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Victorian Marine Park friends group helps Jawbone and Point Cooke

Marine Care Ricketts Point is a Victorian marine sanctuary friends group in Australia. It has not only taken on real stewardship of the local marine park they have also been lending a hand to establish community friends groups for two other wet parks within Port Phillip Bay.

It won't be long before their Marine Education Centre opens at Ricketts Point for school groups and public education. This new Centre compliments their efforts in science based community monitoring of the sanctuary. The surveys are clearly demonstrating real progress towards increased health of this highly used urban marine sanctuary.

Check them out at

Friday, August 28, 2009

Google Ocean and port conservation - Brisbane

Google Earth's Ocean overlay features an info spot article on Port of Brisbane's conservation efforts, highlighting their shorebird roost and marine education service. Have a look at what they've been doing.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A simple thanks will do

Elequently simple. Educators can introduce AUSMEPA marine education topics to students using the Thank You Ocean public service announcement on uTube

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ships, Ports and the Marine Environment

Maritime industries have always been important to Australia yet there has been little educational material around for teachers and students. Free online education units on both Ships and the Marine Environment as well as Ports and the Marine Environment are currently available now at AUSMEPA School webpages.