Dr Shelley Paull1
1Department For Environment And Water, Port Lincoln, Australia
The ocean is our blue heart. We rely on it to survive.
But its taken for granted and in this increasingly disconnected world, how do we connect people back to the ocean, to protect and preserve it for future generations. How do we get people to care?
In Port Lincoln, South Australia, the traditional lands of the Barngarla people, the Marine Park Connections project was born.
By using a blend of Barngarla traditional culture, knowledge and science as well as natural history, ecology and relevance of the local area, students are creating their own connection with the local ocean and its having flow on effects into the wider community.
Students are taken on a field trip to their local marine park. They are led in cultural activities which connect them to the coastal sites visited. They sit, cook, eat, listen to stories, learn language and culture and make artwork.
They are also led by scientists and natural resource managers in scientific walk and talks and other activities, which showcase the diversity, endemism, threats and importance of that area.
They are immersed in that environment, they connect to it through knowledge and experience and that creates an individual connection to that place and the wider ocean.
These students are our future and we hope that by connecting with them in school will ensure they keep that connection into adult life, making every day decisions to protect the ocean.
Bio to come