The fragility of the marine environment will be a focus of this year's Cawthron Seaweek photography competition.
Cawthron Trust's community educator Cristina Armstrong encouraged people from throughout the top of the south to celebrate the sea next month with a range of free events and activities on offer during Seaweek, which runs from March 3-9.
Seaweek is a national annual celebration of the sea organised by the Association of Environmental Educators.
"It has a focus on celebrating our oceans and this year's theme is ‘Our fragile, finite taonga', reminding us to be alert to the fragility of the marine environment and its treasures," Ms Armstrong said.
"From early science education we learn all about cycles, and how the earth's natural cycles balance and regulate themselves. Human activities are altering natural cycles and those changes can have detrimental impacts on the environment. We must learn to treasure our taiao and to preserve it for future generations. I hope this year's Seaweek message will be a strong one to our community and beyond, but with a positive aspect to it so that we can learn more about a sustainable path and discuss issues such as protection of marine reserves and aquaculture."
The annual Cawthron Seaweek photography competition starts on February 17 and closes March 9. The competition will be run through the Friends of Cawthron Facebook page.
Those wanting to enter the competition need to "like" the Facebook page, agree to the terms and conditions, post a photo and state the relevant category.
The four main categories are: Sea Treasures, Our fragile seas, Family fun and the Children's category for under-13s.
There will be prizes for all categories plus three overall winners for the districts of Nelson, Marlborough and Tasman. The prizes include a "guided walk and cruise" with Wilsons of Abel Tasman, a term of swimming lessons from Swim Magic, a SUPStar stand-up paddle board session, Family Whale watching pass, a try dive scuba dive session for a couple, a canvas print from Hanafins and beautiful sea-themed books contributed by Craig Potton and Page and Blackmore.
"I'm excited to see the entries and I think this year will be much tougher as we have extended it to include Marlborough, making it a top of the south event. We are very grateful to all our sponsors who have donated some fantastic prizes," Ms Armstrong said.
Other events offered by Cawthron's Community Education programme during Seaweek include a public lecture and teachers' workshop.
Cawthron Institute scientist Norman Ragg will present a free public lecture on March 6, at 6pm, titled: New Zealand's extraordinary shellfish: Looking beneath the shell.
On March 5 at 4pm Cawthron will host a teacher training workshop on New Zealand fisheries presented by Cawthron scientist Ben Knight and MPI. It will be an opportunity for teachers to learn about the history of and current issues relating to New Zealand's fisheries.
Both the teachers workshop and the public lecture require pre-booking, contact Ms Armstrong at 03 539 3217 or email Cristina.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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