Tuesday, November 26, 2019

INTERCONNECTEDNESS - what does that mean?

INTERCONNECTEDNESS - Goodness, that is a mouthful!

If you don't get a feel for this word perhaps you've heard the term interdependence, another mouthful, or more specifically, ecosystem services. The invisible axiomatic truth is that pretty much everything is connected to everything else. That may be in a primary sense, right here right now, or manifest as a kind of ripple effect off to the side or into the future. Simplistically we might refer to this as a domino effect.

The images below illustrate how we NEED to have healthy environmental systems, plants and animals, in order to have a chance for healthy lives ourselves. And sometimes, as in the case of Mangroves, we have for many years simply treated them with disdain. Below you can see a summary, written for a US audience, of how mangroves help us and what threatens them.

Below gives an inkling of the negative things happening everyday across world mangroves.

[These images were taken from the IUCN website article referencing the importance of mangroves at  https://www.iucn.org/theme/marine-and-polar/our-work/climate-change-and-oceans/mangroves-and-coastal-ecosystems ]

This earth we live on has such a complex, diverse and enigmatic web of interconnected effects. Everything we do affects this place we live.

People have been working on understanding what when why and how these connections work over the entire evolution of humankind. Which are the things that effect our health and well-being and those things that are detrimental.

Human inventiveness and adaptability has affected those natural systems and their often hidden interconnections have affected our planet. Fire gave us comfort, better health and protection from animals who might eat us and it can burn forests down. Being able to grow crops has given us a steady food source and it has drained rivers and polluted receiving waters and lead to a changed pattern of eating.

Who would have thought that it took about 3,000 litres of water to get that yummy burger into your mouth? 

The more there are of us, the more changes we make. The statistics tell us that there are about 7.7 billion people on earth today, an increase of 6.1 billion people in only 117 years. The environmental systems that make the world habitable for us, producing breathable air, food, clean water, ARE struggling under the weight of our human numbers.

Is the climate changing? Well, clearly, it always does. Are we affecting the changing climate in ways that are different to past history? How could we not with the burgeoning number of people on the planet?

Humankind are such smart creatures. It's time to take stock of our interconnectedness. We will need to pull in our belts and make some brave decisions to look after mother earth and the cradle of the sea in order to ensure our own life on earth.


Monday, November 25, 2019

REDMAP; Keeping an eye on change

What is REDMAP.org.au?
The Redmap website invites you to share sightings of fish and marine critters that you think are ‘uncommon’ and do not usually live along your coastline. Over time, Redmap will use your ‘citizen science’ data and photos to sketch a picture of Australian fish and marine species that may be extending their distribution range – a.k.a shifting house - in response to changes in the marine environment, such as warming seas.

Redmap allows Australians to collect their own marine data, share stories and upload photos of ‘unusual’ sightings. Redmap is science created by the people for the people

It is really exciting to see what people discover and how things are changing in the ocean.

You should take a peek at https://www.redmap.org.au/


Wednesday, November 20, 2019


Below you can see the flyer for this seasons Victorian FISH COUNT by ReefWatch and Parks Victoria. If you live down south you'll find that it is a fun activity to help keep track of what is going on in Port Phillip Bay at Portsea.


Hi Jody,

The 2019 Great Victorian Fish Count is here!

Dive and snorkel groups across the state will be taking part in the annual Great Victorian Fish Count over the next 4 weeks. We're also thrilled to be offering special 'For Beginners' and 'Wild Families' Great Victorian Fish Count activities as part of the program. See all the details below. 
Every year, hundreds of people take part in Victoria's largest marine citizen science event to create a snapshot of the species that call Victoria's coastal waters home
This year, the Ornate Cowfish is the 'face' of the Great Victorian Fish Count, Victoria's largest marine citizen science event. These colourful cowfish remind everyone that our marine life rocks and with many opportunities to explore the Great Southern Reef and other spectacular natural marine habitats all along Victoria's coast during the fish count, who knows what else you'll find out there.
The Great Victorian Fish Count is on from 16 November to 15 December, so it's time to jump in the water now! 
You can find a fish count event near you here
The Count has been running since 2002, led by the Victorian National Parks Association in partnership with Museum Victoria, Parks Victoria, Coastcare Victoria, RedMap, local dive operators and local community groups with support from the Victorian Government. 

Special Wild Families Great Victorian Fish Count activities

'Wild Families', The Victorian National Parks Association's family nature program, is thrilled to be hosting Great Victorian Fish Counts for families with kids over 8 years old. The snorkelling event will be led by Dive2U with all equipment supplied (but bring your own wetsuit if you can).
When: Sunday 24 November 10am and 12 noon
Where: Rye Pier
Cost: VNPA members free, VNPA non-members $10 per person or $25 per family. (You can join VNPA membership here.)
For bookings (essential as numbers are limited) contact AJ Morton, dive@dive2u.com or 0409 411 299.

Special Great Victorian Fish Count activities for beginners

This year, the Victorian National Parks Association is encouraging people to give the Great Victorian Fish Count a try for the first time and experience the unique marine life in Port Phillip Bay. With our partners Bayplay we are hosting a special activity at Portsea Pier.
When: Saturday 7 December 10am or 12noon
Where: Portsea Pier, 3755 Point Nepean Rd, Portsea

Cost: VNPA members free, non-members $10 per person or $25 per family. (You can join VNPA membership here.)
Registration essential at bookings@bayplay.com.au or (03) 5984 0888
Beginner snorkellers welcome.
We’d love you to join us!
Nicole Mertens
ReefWatch Project Officer
(03) 9341 6509
ReefWatch is our marine citizen-science program training volunteers like you to collect important information about Victoria's unique marine life.
Find out more here.
ReefWatch is a program of the Victorian National Parks Association.