Southern Cross Distance Education in Ballina collaborated recently on a project with Tangaroa Blue Foundation where Indigenous students living in Jubullum did a series of river clean up activities, sharing knowledge about the rivers and creative expression. Community members all played a role in the cleanup and then students painted a story line about looking after our land and waterways on the bus which will then be part of Tangaroa Blue’s Marine Debris Road Shows.
Tangaroa Blue has been engaging with schools all around Australia in conjunction with the Australian Marine Debris Initiative. The goals for the Australian Marine Debris Initiative are to remove marine debris from the coastline, collect data on the types and amounts of marine debris being found at each site, track to the source wherever possible and then to work with all stakeholders to find solutions that stop those items from entering the oceans in the first place.
Any rubbish left on the ground makes its way into our river systems and eventually makes its way out to sea. The recent project with the Rocky River clean up in Jubullum is an example of students learning and participating in cleaning the rubbish in our fresh waterways before it becomes an even bigger problem in the ocean. The data collected from the river clean-up becomes part of the Australian Marine Debris Database and schools from around Australia can link to each other and compare data on the Tangaroa Blue Website www.tangaroablue.org
Members of Jubullum Community are already talking about doing more 201211 Ballina2river clean ups in the future.
Recent funding from Jack Johnson’s Ohana Foundation and the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country has enabled Tangaroa Blue to write an education kit on Marine Debris that aligns with the Australian Curriculum.
It will be a free resource available from the beginning of 2013. Part of the funding includes free beach or river clean-up workshops for 20 schools in term1 & 2 of 2013. If schools want to express their interest in this project, then they can email: email@example.com If there are any home schoolers that would also like to do a river or beach clean up workshop, they can also email: firstname.lastname@example.org