Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) initiated the development of a mangrove study pilot programme in 2006 with the support of The Department of Conservation. The pilot was aimed at developing a resource and experience for students and teachers wishing to utilise the new Whangarei Harbour Marine Reserve site at Waikaraka.
The pilot study was created and coordinated by EMR coordinator Kim Jones with support from EMR director Samara Nicholas.
Students from Whangarei Heads School took part in the EMR pilot programme which included:
- A classroom presentation about ‘magical mangroves’
- A snorkelling session in their school pool
- A field trip to experience and explore mangroves
- A field trip to snorkel in the mangroves
The students helped to do a beach clean-up at Waikaraka and also designed posters aimed at getting a new Waikaraka care code message out to the public.
Students really enjoy the EMR Mangrove Discovery Programme, and teachers say that the hands-on nature of the programme really adds to the students knowledge, skills and attitude.
The Department of Conservation have continued their support of this local programme allowing EMR to work with Raurimu Avenue School and Maunu Health Camp. EMR has developed a student resource and teacher resource as well as a Powerpoint presentation which is available to schools for non-profit educational purposes.