Aquavan Action

Objectives

Improve school students and the wider communities understanding of the connections between river health and coastal ecosystems in a dynamic fun way, and develop skills for environmental action. Create stronger and more positive links between urban and rural communities and their Catchment Groups, and raise awareness of what work is going on in Southland to help look after our waterways.

Project Description

The Aquavan, a purpose-built vehicle owned by the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre (University of Otago), transports marine animal and plant collections for teaching, research and community engagement around Southern New Zealand. This unique education resource, along with an Education Team, ran the ‘Discovering our Catchment and Coastal Connections Education Programme’ to over 1350 Year 5 to Year 8 students, teachers and parents from 21 schools throughout Southland over 3 weeks in Gore, Invercargill and Winton.

The programme allowed students to investigate the impact we have on our coastal and freshwater environments, learn about catchments and what impacts them, and further their science skills through hands-on learning. Alongside the educational programme, three community events were held which allowed members of the community to experience the programme, meet Southland’s Catchment Groups and other agencies involved with looking after Southland’s waterway, and raise awareness of the work that all these groups and agencies are doing in Southland to help look after our waterways.

Resources

Aquavan Flyer and Education Pack Discovering our Catchment and Coastal Connection 2021

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