Parkfield’s “World Ocean Day” with Tangaroa Blue

Two classes of Year Five Students from Parkfield Primary School at Australind journeyed to Buffalo Beach for their World Ocean’s Day excursion. There were 58 students two teachers, seven parents and Anita Kelly from Tangaroa Blue.

Parkfield and Anita have developed a strong partnership over the last two years. Anita brings her wonderful and graphic Marine Debris display to the school and engages with many classes ranging from Year One to Seven. Parkfield students in return help Anita with marine debris collections from coastal areas in need.

Early in the year 17 Year Seven students and a teacher went into Bunbury to collect, sort and count at the BP groin. This was in conjunction with Ian Kiernans'(founder of Keep Australia Beautiful Day) visit to Bunbury.

Upon arrival at Buffalo Beach, the beach looked as clean as a whistle and the students wondered what their teachers were thinking of. No rubbish here! Anita spent a few moments of information and then the two classes headed off, one north the other south. An hour later they returned carrying, hauling, dragging, puffing and panting under their huge loads of debris collected from the beach and the rises of the first dunes. That beach was not as clean as a whistle.

Under Anita’s guidance the boys and girls sorted the spreading piles into differing types. And then the counting began. They found that it was amazing that such a clean looking beach could surrender up such a wide and varied load of rubbish. Having already been working with Anita they knew of the dangers that each and every piece of debris could pose for one of the ocean’s living creatures. Indeed, many students were shocked at human carelessness.

Windblown, sandy, and tired they piled back into the bus and headed exhausted, but proud, back to school. During a follow up activity one of the teachers asked what impact this experience would make on their lives. Many openly pledged to make a commitment to eliminate litter in any form where possible.

The Parkfield-Tangaroa Blue partnership is a very valuable part of the school’s culture.

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