Snells Beach school children were stars of a new short film by Young Ocean Explorers Steve Hathaway and daughter Riley as part of the 1+ A Day anti-plastic campaign. With funding from the Hauraki Gulf environmental Innovation Fund (GIFT) run by Foundation North, the marine adventurers hope to inspire youngsters to pickup plastic on the streets and in parks, before it gets into the sea.
Armchair explorers internationally will now able to sample the visual delights of Rangitoto Island and Tiritiri Matangi Island. Google sent a hiker with a packpack loaded up with 15 lenses to the two islands recently, with the resulting 360-degree panaroamic images now loaded onto its Street View site.
The volcanic landscape of Rangitoto and the wildlife sanctuary of Tiritiri Matangi are already favourites for overseas visitors to the Gulf, with Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) getting onboard with Google for this venture.
Auckland Council’s new Safeswim initiative is receiving plenty of attention as Aucklanders get used to receiving real time information on the state of their local beaches.
An iconic Auckland ocean swim is moving locations for the first time in 14 years due to frequent “red readings” at beaches on the city’s North Shore. Organisers of the “King of the Bays” event have moved the swimming races from Milford beach to Devonport.
Spinoff recently created a “cheatsheet” to explain what the new system means.
Meanwhile, the Waikato Regional Council has re-activated a water quality monitoring programme at seven east coast and two west coast beaches, testing to see whether faecal bacterial levels are within suitable levels for contact recreation, such as swimming and surfing.
Auckland Council’s new Safeswim programme is providing real-time information about water safety and quality, together with public health alerts, at 84 of Auckland’s beaches.
In a country first, the upgraded water quality forecasting programme exceeds the requirements of national guidelines and is delivered in partnership with Auckland Regional Public Health and Surf Life Saving Northern Region.
In heavy rain water can find its way into the wastewater network causing overflows and unsafe bathing conditions.
Auckland Council Chief Operating Officer Dean Kimpton says, “Auckland is home to so many incredible beaches, but we know our water quality could be better. We’re committed to changing this, and the council and Watercare will be investing $6 billion over the next 20 years to improve our water infrastructure.”
Fulbright-National Geographic Fellow Abby McBride has created a music video – science documentary mash up. It was filmed using a GoPro-rigged buoy to capture hungry seabirds chasing fish and krill during a day on the Hauraki Gulf with Chris Gaskin. It is set to the music of Darlingside.
The future of farming and fishing were the subject of insightful discussion at the recent Environmental Defence Society Conference on Tipping Points.
New technologies such as ‘cellular agriculture’ are set to challenge old fashioned farming attitudes and increase the rate of uptake of sustainable practices, explained Dr Rosie Bosworth, a Senior Strategic Planner with ‘Rethink X’. Landcorp’s CEO Steve Carden outlined his vision for the future and the practical proactive approach being taken to adapt.
Sanford CEO Volker Kuntsch, Te Ohu Kaimoana CE Dion Tuuta and WWF head of Campaigns Peter Hardstaff addressed fisheries, their ‘big’ words being Transparency, Respect and Humility.
A Waikato Regional Council scholarship has been awarded to Taylor Auld from Thames to assist in completing a Bachelor of Civil Engineering at Canterbury University.
Taylor received a number of academic awards at Thames High School and was involved in coastal clean-up initiatives through Scouts.
The $6,000 award is made annually through the council’s Waihou Piako catchment committee to support undergraduate study in the fields of engineering or resource management, particularly river and catchment management.
There are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic garbage floating around in our oceans, and the number is growing exponentially. By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish — if we let this trend continue.
The oceans have experienced a 25% increase in acidity since we started measuring such things. This puts many kinds of ocean life at risk.
Oxygen levels in the entire ocean are down 2% overall, and have declined up to 4% in some places — leading to numerous “dead zones”.
The “Living Blue Planet Index”, WWF’s measure of how much life is in the sea, is down 50% since the 1970s.
In June the United Nations convened its first ever Oceans Conference. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 14 aims to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.”
A classic 1960s book Islands of the Gulf has been reprinted. In the early Sixties Shirley Maddock joined seaplane pilot Captain Fred Ladd to visit isolated island communities, filming New Zealand’s first locally produced documentary series and spawning a book of the same name.
The new 2017 edition has been published to coincide with a remake of Islands of the Gulf, to screen on TV One later this year with Shirley Maddock’s daughter, actress and writer, Elisabeth Easther.
Young Ocean Explorers will launch a new website on October 5 with over 100 new videos and lots of polls and quizzes. Creator Steve Hathaway says “we’ve designed the site specifically so teachers will want to use it in their classes as a great tool and resource to educate about the marine environment.”
Earlier this year the Hauraki Gulf Forum and Young Ocean Explorers worked together on the Explore the Gulf Hauraki Gulf Marine Park poster series published by the New Zealand Herald.
Steve says the app created to unlocked hidden video content with the posters has been installed nearly 2000 times. The posters were distributed to all schools in New Zealand through the Education Gazette and are incorporated into school visits by Steve and Riley Hathaway.
Steve says the posters, app and interactive website work together to deliver engaging, curriculum relevant learning for schools.
Auckland Council has approved an upgrade of its Safeswim beach water quality monitoring programme. From next summer it will enable accurate forecasting of which of Auckland’s 69 bathing beaches might be unsafe, and when.
The programme upgrade will provide new tools to communicate monitoring results, giving better visibility of water quality issues. Mayor Phil Goff has said the public may be shocked when they see the figures on faecal contamination but “there are solutions.”
The French schooner Tara is coming to New Zealand for the ﬁrst time since the death of Kiwi yachtsman, environmentalist and hero, Sir Peter Blake.
Originally Sir Peter’s yacht Seamaster, Tara will tie up alongside the ANZ Viaduct Events Centre for 10 days in July, associated with an outdoor photographic exhibition, boat tours, and an Auckland Conversations event celebrating ocean leadership.
A new Explore the Gulf poster series has been produced by the Hauraki Gulf Forum, in partnership with the New Zealand Herald and Young Ocean Explorers.
The posters illustrate species found in the shallow, mid and deeper water environments of the marine park.
They also feature ‘Young Ocean Explorer’ Riley Hathaway and downloading an App will unlock video content about many species on phones and devices.
A new Department of Conservation App, ‘Te kete o Tāmaki Makaurau’, has been designed to help people identify and pronounce the names of popular places, animals, and plants in the Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland region in Te Reo Māori.
The app enjoyed the highest number of downloads in one day and recently sat as the third most downloaded app in New Zealand.
A talk by NZ Geographic magazine founder Kennedy Warne at a recent Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Seminar has been included in 2017 edition of Tell You What: Great New Zealand Nonfiction. The talk explores Kennedy’s connections to the Gulf.
A Hauraki Gulf / Tikapa Moana marine spatial plan launched in December after three years work by a stakeholder working group is available on the Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari project website.
The proposed plan contains five pathways designed to create long-term health and wellbeing for the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. Transitions to high value wild caught and farmed fisheries, the creation of marine reserves areas and scaled up restoration initiatives, setting load limits and mitigation for sediment and nutrients, local-scale coastal management and ambitious public engagement are outlined in the December issue of the Gulf Journal.
A new coffee table book on the ecological history of the Hauraki Gulf was launched this month charting its discovery, transformation and potential for restoration.
Author Raewyn Peart travelled widely through the marine park interviewing over sixty people – iwi leaders, those making a living from the Gulf, sailors, fishers and divers, and environmentalists who are all working to preserve and restore its heritage.
The New Zealand Coastal Society has published Adapting to the consequences of climate change: Engaging with communities to assist coastal professionals, decision-makers and communities in preparing for sea-level rise and the associated effects of climate change.
A review of coastal navigation safety by Maritime NZ has found that there is a sound framework in place to manage the movement of ships around the New Zealand coast, with procedures in place to assess risk and adjust safety measures if required.
The report singled out two areas of possibly higher risk for vessels transits compared to other locations – the Hauraki Gulf and Colville Channel, and Cook Strait.
“This review does not indicate an immediate risk to vessels or water users in these areas, but we will be working with harbourmasters, pilots, ferry operators, and the coastal shipping industry to look at how risks are managed in these areas, and whether there are any gaps,” Maritime NZ said.
A new video explaining the Revive our Gulf project’s work to restore mussel reefs is a popular hit with schools and youtube viewers.
The video was directed by designer Shaun Lee, presented by biologist Rebecca Barclay and funded by Auckland Council’s Environmental Initiatives Fund. It has been posted on the Science Learning Hub and currently features on its home page.
Steve and Riley Hathaway continue making ripples with their Young Ocean Explorers television initiative. A book and DVD collection from the first series was published in March, with crowd-funded sponsorship enabling distribution to all NZ schools.
A second series is underway, with Bryde’s whales one of the topics being explored in the Hauraki Gulf/Ta¯kapa Moana. The father and 14-year-old daughter combo recently presented their story at the popular TED-X Auckland event.