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  National Conference 1998    

Seaweeds, Syngnathids and Seashores
Marine Conservation through Education Portsea, Victoria February 13 -16 1998

The aim of the conference was to provide marine and coastal educators with practical strategies to effect sustainable long-term use and conservation of our coastal and marine habitats and the life they support.

Conference presenters provided examples of "best practice programs in community and schools marine education" from throughout Australia.

Program And Workshop Outline


Registration desk will be open from 3 pm

This will allow you to arrive during the afternoon and familiarise yourself with the camp and the Township of Portsea. We have arranged for a guided rock pool walk or you could go on a snorkel under the Portsea pier searching for dragons.

Morning: Official opening and Welcome Keynote addresses: Biodiversity, Conservation and Education.

Afternoon: Workshops and Field trips

  1. Mangroves and Marshes - A bus trip to Westernport and exploration of mangrove forests and salt marshes
  2. Snorkelling the Subtidal - An introduction to snorkelling as a way into the subtidal world. Brief theory session in library then trip to pier to touch tanks and snorkel.
  3. Sea Shores and Middens - Explorations of coastal geomorphology and an archaeological perspective on coastal indigenous culture
  4. Investigating invertebrates - Immerse yourself in the astounding and outrageous world of marine invertebrates
  5. Seaweeds & dolphins - This may seem like a strange concoction - marine plants and marine mammals, but these two are features of the southern Australian marine scene.

Evening: "These are a few of my favourite things" - a presentation of the best ten slides or pieces from some great marine photographers and film makers.


Morning: Ferry trip across the Rip

Marine Parks in Port Phillip Bay

Welcome at MAFRI, Queenscliff

Keynote: Linking Science and the Community

Panel presentation and discussion groups on links between research and education

Afternoon: Workshops and Field trips

  1. Seadragon Monitoring - Community based monitoring program investigating the distribution and ecology of seadragons.
  2. Farsight - Satellite Images - A new software program designed to allow students to access and use remote sensing to study ocean phenomena.
  3. Sand Dune Revegetation -A field trip to investigate a highly successful schools and community revegetation project.
  4. Swan Bay Discovery Tour - A canoe trip to investigate the seagrass community of Swan Bay and impacts on the Bay Swan Bay Integrated Catchment - A field trip to observe strategies implemented by community groups to effect integrated Catchment management at Swan Bay Marine Reserve
  5. Student Monitoring Programs - Run by Secondary Students from Swansea High School, NSW a practical session on the application of monitoring techniques.
  6. Bay Litter Watch - Down the drain issues. A highly successful approach to a Litter and Catchment education program. How it works.

Evening: Conference Dinner

Valentine's Day Special Presentation

Reg Lipson’s "Exotica and Erotica of the Deep"


Morning: Panel Presentation: Marine and Coastal Education - a Community and Schools Perspective

Seaweek '98

Afternoon: Workshops

Session A
  1. Publishing for Marine Education - Learn from authors and publishers the secrets to producing your own books
  2. Fishing Culture - A workshop investigating approaches used in working with different cultural groups to effect fisheries management
  3. Best practice in marine fieldwork - Using adult education practices to establish best practices, exchange experiences in the field and match with a set of criteria
  4. Inside track to winning grants - the do’s and don’ts for your next submissions
  5. Marine Aquaria: The balanced community technique - Description of establishment of a 2000 litre refrigerated marine system, showcasing difference marine communities in a laboratory.
  6. Beach Secrets - education incognito - Insights into using costumes and drama to bring home marine concepts and conservation issues
Session B
  1. Diving into Cyberspace - combining multimedia technology with marine education - interactive TV, WWW and a whole lot more
  2. Octopus’s Garden - Building a resource treasure chest for early childhood and lower primary groups
  3. Secondary Sharing - Who's doing what in marine programs for secondary schools. Bring some of your favourite tips and leave with a whole lot more.
  4. Coastal Photo survey - This innovative project, explores the many opportunities to use the power of photography to monitor coastal change.
  5. Volunteers in Community Marine & Coast Education - the benefits and some of the pitfalls

Post-Conference Field Trips and Workshop, Monday, 16th February

There are many opportunities to discover the magnificent environment of Port Phillip Bay through our range of Post Conference Trips. To cater for a range of interests the following programs will be offered.

Snorkeling at Popes Eye and with the Seals - Popes Eye is Australia smallest Marine Reserve and supports a great range of temperate marine life. The Bays seals are some of the most interesting animals you’ll ever interact with.

Scuba Dive - dive the spectacular Rip with its magnificent kelp forests and rocky reefs. Come eye to eye with blue devils and witness magnificent benthic communities .

Mud Islands adventure cruise. Visit this unique group of Islands in the middle of Port Phillip Bay. A must for wader bird and seagrass enthusiasts

Secondary Teacher’s Workshop

Bob Moffatt, a founding member of MESA and a marine education publisher will be running a full day post conference workshop based on his new publication, 'An Introduction to Marine Studies'.


Friday 13: Setting the Scene - Biodiversity in Southern Australia

Through our opening key note addresses through the afternoon workshops, and evening visual displays, participants will discover some of the biodiversity of the region.

Saturday 14:
Finding Out

The conference takes the ferry to Queenscliff, via Point Nepean and Popes Eye Marine Reserves, to the Marine and Freshwater Resources Institute for a day focussed on links between research, monitoring and education.

A range of field trips and workshops will provide participants with strategies for linking research with marine and coastal education.

Sunday 15: Going further

Today we look at programs for community and schools education programs. A wide range of workshops catering for different interest groups have been carefully selected as examples of strategies for delivery of best practice in coastal and marine education.

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