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Celebrating 10 years of a deep friendship with Victoria’s Marine Protected Areas
Friday 11 May, 2012
Parks Victoria and Friends of the Bluff are hosting a marine forum in the sea change town of Barwon Heads this weekend to celebrate ten years of community volunteer involvement in Victoria’s marine national parks and sanctuaries, at the start of National Volunteer Week.
President of the Friends of Barwon Bluff Jon Duthie said this was a great opportunity for lovers of marine parks from around the state to gather together and discuss the role of community groups in marine protected area stewardship.
“It’s is extremely exciting to get all of these passionate minds together to explore what we’ve done and seen in the parks since the parks were established nearly ten years ago, and what we hope to achieve with the next ten,” said Mr Duthie.
“Community groups are essential to the ongoing protection of these amazing places. We need more people to value them and would love to see more community advocates.”
Ray Lewis, President of Marine Care Ricketts Point, will launch his new book Marine Victoria for Volunteers. The book is a guide to helping marine volunteers to get involved in a range of marine programs and activities from organising meetings, working with agencies, to snorkelling and in water photography skills.
“This has been a labour of love for many years and it gives me great delight to be able to share these experiences with both existing and would-be volunteers.”
Mr Lewis said it was essential that the next generation of marine volunteers step up to assist with the care and maintenance of marine protected areas.
“We really need schools, councils, community groups, towns and suburbs to adopt their local marine parks. There are a lot of people who have been doing this work for a long time now, but now we really need to ‘share the love’ and encourage everyone to discover their marine protected areas.
“Victoria is extremely lucky to have all of these amazing natural features and wildlife under the water. We need the next generation to help to care for it.”
Parks Victoria General Manager for Environment and Heritage Ian Walker said the friends and community groups have been a tower of strength in the first ten years of marine national parks and sanctuaries.
“We are extremely grateful for the power of work done by volunteers across the state particularly in building awareness and monitoring the underwater parks. We look forward to further supporting their work for many years to come.”
Attendees at the forum will include representatives from volunteers groups across Victoria including Friends of Beware Reef and Corner Inlet Seagrass Monitors from Gippsland, Marine Care Ricketts Point and Marine Care Jawbone from the Melbourne area, Friends of the Bluff, Friends of Point Addis, and Warrnambool Landcare / Coastcare groups in the west, along with and supporting organisations including Parks Victoria, Coastcare Victoria, Reefwatch, and others.Anyone wishing to get involved with their local marine protected areas please contact Parks Victoria on 13 1963
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