Pupils power conservation in marine reserve studies

Last updated 05:00 26/06/2013
Yvette Batten /Fairfax NZ

Sea lovers: St Pius X pupils Frances Chow, 11 and William Johnsen, 10, in front of the Experiencing Marine Reserves display.

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St Pius X pupils had the chance to share their love of marine reserves last week.

They held a display, which was open to the public, in conjunction with the Nga Motu Marine Reserve Society's annual meeting.

In March, 34 children from the New Plymouth school and 21 parents went on a trip to explore in and around Goat Island Marine Reserve.

"It was very inspiring because we got to see giant snapper in the marine reserve," said pupil William Johnsen.

Both he and fellow pupil Frances Chow were excited to share their work with the community. "If school teachers and principals come through they might think it's a good idea for their school," Frances said.

"For New Plymouth, it's great because the sea is right next to us."

William's project was on goat fish and their adaptations and Frances focused on clown fish, but she also did a fact file on fish in the reserve.

School deputy principal Pat Swanson said the display celebrated what the children had learnt and the part ners who help deliver the programme.

Their trip was supported by Nga Motu Marine Reserve Society, Department of Conservation and Australian Worldwide Exploration (AWE).

"In terms of our school, the community really values it and they want the programme to continue because they've seen the way it's engaged the kids.

"That whole concept of environmental responsibility and sustainability is a really powerful thing when you put it in the hands of children," he said.

Other Taranaki schools involved in the marine reserve programme include Mimi School and Manukorihi Intermediate School in Waitara.

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