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  Seaweek 1999    

Theme: Celebrate Marine Biodiversity:
Jewels of the sea

Seaweek '99 coordinator: Harry Briedahl

Understanding the theme

Have you ever caught a marlin? Have you ever swum through a kelp forest or seen a gannet dive? These special moments are reminders of the amazing diversity of life that lives along our coasts and in our oceans.

Australian's marine environments contain a rich variety of ecosystems, habitats and communities of plants and animals, from the warm tropical north to the cool temperate south.

Many of the southern species are found no where else on earth, a huge responsibility in the management of Australia's gigantic ocean area (about 11 million square kilometres).

This vast biological diversity not only makes us feel good but it is part of the basic processes on which human life depends. Healthy ecosystems of plants, animals and microorganisms recycle nutrients, transfer energy, dispose of wastes, maintain water quality and much more.

Kelp "forest"              
Little is know about our oceans, areas once regarded as ocean deserts have now been found to be teeming with life. It is unknown what part they play in the oceans ecosystems and therefore it is critical that they are conserved.

But just how healthy is Australia's marine biodiversity? The National State of the Environment Report says it is 'poor and deteriorating near centres of human activity'. Working with this theme we can explore the issues of:

  • Jewels of the sea, Australia's rich biodiversity and your local treasuresWhat is biodiversity, why is it important and what threatens our biodiversity?Conserving biodiversity - why and how?
  • International conventions and agreements - oceans have no boundaries

More about the theme ..

Exploring the theme - event ideas

‘Looking after our Bay’ - Information brochure


A simple information flyer (tri folded A4 size) produced by the Kurnell Public School with the assistance of the Botany Bay Field Studies Centre. The brochure provided useful information for the local community on ways to help protect the local marine environment.




Botany Bay.


Performance at Sydney Maritime Musuem
- Seaweek 99
During the year, Grade 5 at Kurnell Public School undertook a marine studies unit which involved working with the Botany Bay Field Studies Centre to learn about their local marine environment.

As part of that unit the class produced a brochure which gave information about the local marine environment and some ideas of ways in which to help protect the waterways. The students researched relevant material and then wrote the brochure, including the headings of Boating, Birds, Shells, Fishing, Protected Areas, Sensitive Habitats, Pollution Solutions and Taking Care of Yourself. It was edited by the Botany Bay Field Studies Centre.

The brochures were launched during Seaweek at Lilli Pilli School and followed by a performance from the 'Resyche's' Environmental Theatre group. Brochures were sent home to all parents via the school newsletters. For wider community distribution they were also placed in local shops etc.


The Grade 5 students decided that they would like to have clean beaches, clean water and the chance to see and enjoy a wide variety of marine life in their local area. They knew it would take a big effort by everyone if they were to achieve this. They hoped that with further information and understanding of the local marine environment, the community would be more interested and inspired to take actions towards caring for it. They saw that one way of providing this local information was by producing and distributing a brochure.

Events held in 1999 ..

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Understanding the theme

Exploring the theme - event ideas

Extending the theme - classroom activities

Personal Action

Further Resources

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