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  Seaweek 1990    

Theme: Marine Parks Save our Seas

Seaweek '92 coordinator: Jan Oliver

Extending the theme - classroom activities

Studying MPAs - Marine Protected Areas

Defining MPAs

Research Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). What are they? What do they protect? How do they protect? Find out what MPAs there are in your state or the whole of Australia. Ask students to work in groups and provide a profile of one MPA. Display thesestudies or present the information to the whole class.

Field Trips

Visit a MPA with a ranger or local guide. Visit again at a different time of day or season eg nocturnal crab watch, full moon high tide.

Talks and Discussion Panels

Develop talks and discussion panels with experts, conservation groups, marine park officers, local users, government officers, local shire councils. Invite them to your school or ask each one to answer a list of questions about MPAs and compare the results.

Library Displays

Set up a library displays of books on MPAs in Australia and the marine life in them.

Create Jigsaw Puzzles

Create jigsaw puzzles on MPAs. Collect calendars, photographs and posters to cut up into puzzles. Put the puzzles in the library or give to a junior class to use.

Educate Through Dance

Devise a kelp dance, crab dance or octopus dance in costume. Perform. Introduce the show with explanation of the marine plant or animal and where it can be found.

Supermarket Safari

Do a supermarket study, find all the products with labels advertising 'protect the sea, environmentally friendly to the sea, dolphin safe etc. Then research the country of origin and the issues concerned.

Zoned Areas in Action

Study one MPA, find out about zoning, regulations etc. Set the classroom up with zoned areas and monitor and discuss the conflicts and issues arising.

Model MPAs

Build models of MPAs using various materials. Create the land forms and habitats. Show where different plants and animals live.

Link up Flyways

Do a bird watch at a local beach or waterway, record findings. Determine how many are migrants and where their flyways go. Find out is they visit MPAs. Try linking up with another school in a different state that is also on their migration route.

Invent a MPA

Invent a protected local area eg school yard, lake, creek or beach. Monitor it, find out what habitats, fauna and flora it contains. Discover how people use the area. Map, devise zones and plan regulations.

Funny Messages

Draw cartoons on a MPA theme. Publish in the school newsletter or local paper.

Media Review

Do a media review of violations of MPAs eg oil spills, pest plants and animal invasions, land run off issues, coastal development etc. Make clippings into a display with further information.

Learn with Videos

Borrow videos about MPAs, ask the managers of the area closest to you. Or hire videos about the amazing marine life in our Australian oceans. Research where these plants or animals live and determine if they have some protected habitats.

MPAs in Australia and Overseas

Study features of different MPAs in Australia and then compare with overseas ones. Try an internet search.

Student Pledge

Ask the students to draw up a code of behaviour or pledges regarding care of MPAs. Are the students prepared to swear to the pledge?

All these ideas to build awareness of Marine Protected Areas are adapted from the Seaweek'92 Education Kit by Jan Oliver

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