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04 Mar 2013 13:22:59
Members of the local community, including schools, businesses and local residents, gathered together to clean up Auckland's Okahu Bay yesterday morning.
As part of Seaweek - an annual event held by the New Zealand Association for Environmental Education - Kelly Tarlton's SEA LIFE Aquarium organised the event and together 51 volunteers combed Okahu Bay, picking up 27 bags of litter, which was scattered along the coastline.
The Kelly Tarlton's SEA LIFE Aquarium Young Explorers - a panel of 11 children who act as youth experts on all things aquatic - led the way in helping children and adults to understand the importance of protecting marine animals and their habitats, by keeping our beaches clean.
Young Explorer Leader and Kelly Tarlton's grandson, Tane Tarlton (11), says, "It was really great to get everyone together to help clean up the beach and I hope we have inspired others to do the same. If everyone does their bit by not dropping rubbish on the streets, the beach, or into the sea, we can help protect the sea and its marine life."
Kelly Tarlton's SEA LIFE Aquarium Marketing Manager, Maggie King, says it's fantastic to have the Young Explorers setting an example about sustainability.
"At Kelly Tarlton's SEA LIFE Aquarium, we encourage children to learn about aquatic animals and their habitats - the more they understand, the more inspired they are to protect our marine environment."
There are many small actions people can take to help keep the ocean pollution free. Disposing of plastic materials, such as shopping bags, appropriately is just one - many end up in the sea and are swallowed by animals like turtles.
Seaweek, held from 2 - 10 March 2013, encourages Kiwis to treasure their marine environment and make small, simple changes in their everyday lives to preserve it for future generations.
National and Auckland Seaweek Coordinator, Mels Barton, says, "There is no single organisation that manages New Zealand's ocean so Seaweek is an important event in educating New Zealanders on ocean sustainability. Seaweek is about learning from each other and the Kelly Tarlton's SEA LIFE Aquarium Beach Clean-up is a fantastic initiative to help spread the message on keeping our ocean clean and sustainable."
For more information about Kelly Tarlton's SEA LIFE Aquarium and its activities during Seaweek, visit www.kellytarltons.co.nz or call 0800 80 50 50.