Enthusiastic students from Linuwel School at East Maitland spent 4 days at Kooragang Wetlands as part of their Geography studies.
The Year 7 students participated in a range of hands-on activities while learning about the rehabilitation project and the importance of healthy wetlands for migratory birds, fish and prawns.
The students spent a day working along the saltmarsh fringe near the Schoolmasters House planting Juncus krausii, commonly known as sea rush and removing Juncus acutus – an invasive weed. The class enjoyed the hard work of digging out the large clumps of Juncus acutus. The students also completed worksheets on saltmarsh using quadrats and transects to undertake vegetation surveys.
Another day was spent in Nev’s Nook – a beautifully regenerated rainforest corridor, where the class planted a range of tree seedlings, shrubs and vines. A ceremonial red cedar tree was planted at this site, and the students were encouraged to return to check on its growth over time.
The students also learnt about marine debris – what it is, where it comes from, how it travels around the globe and the impacts it has on the environment and marine life. As part of the CMA’s marine debris Caring for our County grant, the students participated in two clean-up activities in the mangroves. Equipment and data sheets were supplied by the Tangaroa Blue Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation focused on the health of the marine environment and coordinator of a national database.
In two one hour sessions, the students collected 82kgs of rubbish, including 140 plastic drink bottles, 100 glass bottles and jars, 80 aluminium cans, plastic and foam packaging, lots of thongs and a bike tyre. Every piece of rubbish collected was recorded by the students on data sheets and the bags were weighed. This information was submitted to the Australian Marine Debris Initiative, a national database used to record and track marine debris, and help find practical solutions to the issue.
For more information on the Kooragang Wetlands click here.