This journey started possibly in 1996 (or before). I was working for Hutt City Council’s Environmental Engineers trying to help educate the general public about water pollution through the stormwater system. Met Victor Anderlini and Judy Hutt by accident and we ended up planning a Wellington-region wide Seaweek campaign together. The philosophy was to use the general public’s interest in charismatic sea creatures (dolphin, whale, octopi) as a means to communicate our anti-pollution messages. The Island Bay Marine Education Centre has since evolved and they are now undertaking region-wide community outreach through both The Octopus Club and Whitebait Connection programme being run in schools.
They have worked very hard to create a sustainable education resource facility for our whole region and the current outreach programme, Whitebait Connection, has had successful uptake with the lower decile schools/disadvantaged areas of Lower Hutt city.
It takes tenacity, a huge personal commitment and faith from the initiators to continue this journey for so many years providing consistent messaging.
Nominated by: Sandy Beath-Croft, Hutt City Council on 8 December 2016
Note: NZAEE Seaweek is not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied by the person nominating the Ocean Champion nominee.