Saturday, April 28, 2012

Life on Rocky Shores of SE Australia booklet

The Victorian National Parks Association is selling a copy of this lovely little ID book for South Eastern Australia for $18.50 for non-members. 

To order your copy contact VNPA Level 3, 60 Leicester ST, Carlton, Vic  3053 
  • or phone 03 9347 5199 
  • or email
  • or order online at

Keep your eyes open for AUSMEPA's new photo gallery of marine organisms coming up online soon at

Tackling Marine Debris with CSIRO

Courtesy of CSIRO website

The Tackling marine debris project by CSIRO's Dr Britta Densie Hardesty here has provided some strong results to underline why it is so important for us to play our part in changing attitudes and actions now for our future.

Fast facts:
  • Marine debris is a major issue for the integrity of marine ecosystems
  • Impacts to wildlife include entanglement and ingestion
  • Marine debris results in increased transport of pollutants into food chains
  • Developing a broad understanding of the threat to ecological systems is challenging

RESULTS -- So far the team has found:

  • more than 6000 nets (90 000 metres) and other accumulated rubbish have been removed from the shore and shallow waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria
  • animals killed by ghost nets include hawksbill, green, olive ridley and flatback turtles; dugong, water buffalo, crocodile, sawfish, hammerhead shark, sea snakes and crabs
  • nets on Australia's shores come from Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Thailand (nearly half are of unknown origin)
  • risks to turtles from ghost nets are higher in the south of the Gulf of Carpentaria and at its north eastern edge than at its centre
  • marine debris is concentrated near major population centres across Australia's coastline
  • main items that wash ashore include cigarette products and plastic bags.

Teachers and students wishing to study more about marine stormwater pollution can access AUSMEPA's Marine Stormwater Pollution unit here.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Space invaders; marine pests

AUSMEPA are strong supporters and education partners with Marine Discovery Centres Australia. Below find news about some lesson plans out of Western Australia that may excite science teachers as suggested on MDCA news page here

Marine Pests…

To kick off the new school year, Marine WATERs (West­ern Aus­tralian Teacher Edu­ca­tion Resources) presents their lat­est suite of edu­ca­tion mate­ri­als on Marine Pests. Check out the Pest Con­trol Les­son PlanIntro­duced Marine Species Fact Sheet and their most excit­ing inter­ac­tive resource yet – the ‘Pest Line-up’ game!
Marine WATERs is an ini­tia­tive of the Depart­ment of Fish­eries, WA and Wood­side Energy. An inter­ac­tive and fully inte­grated resource that con­nects edu­ca­tors and stu­dents with resources and tools devel­oped specif­i­cally to study West­ern Australia’s unique marine ecosys­tems and address chal­lenges fac­ing the sus­tain­abil­ity of our aquatic resources.

Teachers may like to check out AUSMEPA's Marine Pests and Threats units here

GRANT WHISPER: KAB Beverage Container Recycling Grants 2012

The Australian Marine Environment Protection Association (AUSMEPA) are always keen to support projects that assist schools and the community to reduce pollution going into the sea (see unit on Marine Stormwater Pollution) so we are glad to share the following news from Keep Australia Beautiful (KAB).

KAB is calling for grant applications from local communities to implement local beverage container recycling projects.The KAB grants, funded by The Coca-Cola Foundation, are open to all communities across Australia and range from $3,000 to $10,000 for projects that will result in a measurable increase in beverage container recycling within the local communities. 

Applications are open to community groups, local associations, schools*, small to medium enterprises and local government authorities and will be awarded to:

• projects which address the specific issue of beverage container recycling and its by-products;
• practical local solutions that can be used as examples for others and leave a legacy;
• projects that do not duplicate existing recycling activities; and
• projects that result in measurable volumes of recycled materials.

A proven ability to implement suitable projects, such as those who have participated in the Keep Australia Beautiful Sustainable Communities Awards - incorporating the Tidy Towns and Sustainable Cities programs, will also be taken into account.

In larger communities this may mean infrastructure for events, or for special venues such as large retail centres, sporting venues or education centres. In smaller communities, it may mean assistance with transport or processing to overcome remote location or dispersed population. 

*For schools, a key criteria is the involvement  and/or education of the wider community in relation to beverage container recycling activities via the school network.

In 2011, The Coca-Cola Foundation provided $170,004 for the small grants program to encourage away from home recycling with a total of 23 projects, representing all states and territories.

Apply now: Applications for the 2012 grants funding close on Friday 15th June 2012 with successful applicants confirmed at the end of July. 

Further information and application forms are available from your respective KAB state office or the national KAB website

NSW: Bernie Murphy    02 9633 3380 
VIC: Gary Mogford        03 8626 8794
QLD: Rick Burnett         07 3252 2886
WA: Lisa Smith              08 6467 5169
SA: John Phillips            08 8234 7255
TAS: Bianca Bateman  0418 314 080 
ACT: Bianca Bateman  0419 016 401
NT: Heimo Schober       08 8981 5535

Keep Australia Beautiful National Association
GPO Box 193, 
Canberra ACT 2601 
P hone: 02 9698 8773      , , 
ABN 35743600611

Please feel free to share this good idea and Whisper the link to a friend.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

TED TALK: Bonnie Bassler sheds light on how bacteria "talk"

This is another TED talk that is a stunner. Bonnie gives us the low-down on how bacteria are essential to our well-being. 
These tiny pieces of life coordinate their actions! How do they do that?Bonnie explains how bacteria are platform pieces in the puzzle of early ocean life producing oxygen byproducts and bioluminescence as well as their essential role in our own bodies. 

I'll be watching this a few more times!

2013 SPILLCON; Asia-Pacific Oil Spill Prevention & Preparedness Conference

Emergency response in the maritime sector will be interested to make note of SPILLCON 2013

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Westport High School are committed to marine education. They are investing time and energy into writing up some materials specific to LADY MUSGRAVE ISLAND, QLD. See the online activities page courtesy of G Hargreaves and click here to go to the pages

Reef in full light
As you snorkel or scuba the reef slope at very low tide and looking into the bright sun you experience a new world of the busy, the secretive and the strange.
Homes will be defended, you will frighten some residents and there may be a few friendy oestheichthyes.
Don't believe the bad press about sharks although remember they are predators!

  • Finding the habitats, location and biodiversity of anemone fish is a challenge. 
  • Observing noddy terns will give insight into their complex behaviour. 
  • Watch myriad hermit crabs decide their lives on the edge of the shingle as the tide moves in and out. 
  • Reef walk and code the colour of corals to build a database about bleaching. .

Most activities require the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.
You can download it for free from the Adobe website.
Slider Puzzles -
Flash Quiz - test
your knowledge
on all things
Lady Musgrave
Memory Squares - how's your Barrier Reef memory?
Crossword Puzzle - are you the reef master?Word Search - can you find all of the coral reef words?Hangman - test your coral reef knowledge
Colouring Page - colour the damsel before she swims away...Jigsaw Puzzle - help rebuild the reef...PacShark - it's a feeding frenzy as the sharks turn on each other...

Monday, April 9, 2012

The ARIES Collection

We note with pleasure and gratitude that the ARIES Collection features the Australian Seabird Rescue clip (above) and more. The ARIES team have put together a selection of online videos from around the world to educate, engage, inspire, perplex, enlighten, delight and stimulate debate about all things to do with sustainable development. This is one of the ones you will find featured at

To see how to incorporate a unit on marine stormwater pollution into your favourite students classroom please visit the AUSMEPA website here