The New Zealand Association for Environment Education (NZAEE) has announced the dates and theme for its flagship event Seaweek for 2016.
NZAEE Seaweek 2016 will take place from Saturday, February 27 to Sunday, March 6, 2016 and will be Seaweek’s 25th anniversary.
The theme will be ‘Toiora te Moana – Toiora te Tangata – Healthy Seas, Healthy People’.
The theme highlights New Zealand’s many connections with the sea and calls on Kiwis from all walks of life to celebrate Tangaroa’s realm, recognise the enormous contribution our beaches, seas and coasts make to our health and wellbeing, and do our bit to keep our coastline and seas healthy for all. Everyone contributes to taking care of our oceans.
Seaweek 2016 is once again supported by ASB Community Trust, Department of Conservation, NZ Marine Studies Centre University of Otago, the DSP Print Group Ltd and many local sponsors.
The New Zealand Coastal Society will again provide prize money for the winning Seaweek Ocean Champion for 2016.
NZAEE welcomes three new supporters for 2016. They are Greater Wellington Regional Council, The National Aquarium of New Zealand – Napier City Council, and Environment Canterbury Regional Council, who all provide regional Seaweek co-ordinators.
NZAEE board member and Seaweek programme manager, Pam Crisp: “Our supporters can see benefit in the educational outcomes we’re achieving from having an annual focus on the issues affecting the oceans and ways that communities and schools can get involved.
“We are delighted that councils around the country are supporting Seaweek by providing regional co-ordinators who are essential in enabling a rich event programme to be developed for their region.
“It’s wonderful that we are now able to plan early to grow the event and engage more people in this fun and informative week about the sea. Many thanks to our supporters for their continued commitment to Seaweek.”
The Seaweek Strategic Planning team decided to revisit the popular and successful Seaweek 2013 theme and use it for the next three years of Seaweek (2016-2018) following analysis of evaluation data from participants and co-ordinators.
They found this theme was the most easily understood, and people could clearly relate to it and apply it to their daily lives.
Instead of changing the theme every year the Seaweek team will aim to bring on board a different target audience each year for the next three years. A new target audience for 2016 will be pre-schoolers, their families and whanau.
NZAEE Seaweek’s website is www.seaweek.org.nz and later this year you will be able to nominate and vote for the 2016 ‘Ocean Champion’ to celebrate all those individuals, groups and organisations who work so hard to look after our seas and the marine life that lives in them.
Seaweek 2016 will provide more opportunities to get children involved in citizen science and there will be preparation workshops for teachers organised in November in Auckland.
The ‘Marine Metre Squared’ project, overseen by the NZ Marine Studies Centre, encourages schools, families, communities and iwi to get involved in collecting valuable data and monitoring their local seashore environment. Data entered into the MM2 website at www.mm2.net.nz is being used to help scientists improve coastal management.
More information on both initiatives is on www.seaweek.org.nz.
Many events will be scheduled around the country during Seaweek 2016, including favourites such as ‘Farewell to the Godwits’ bird watching, clean-ups, adventure races, films, lectures and guided snorkeling trips. If you are interested in organising an event, contact the Seaweek regional co-ordinator for your area to discuss how they can support you. Their contact details are available on the Seaweek website.
The Seaweek team would love to hear what your school or group is doing to explore this year’s theme of ‘Toiora te Moana – Toiora te Tangata – Healthy Seas, Healthy People’ and help you with publicity and resources. Please let national co-ordinator, Mels Barton know your ideas and plans by emailing [email protected].