When I think about the wonders to be encountered in the incredibly beautiful rock pools along the headlands of our seaside village, I sometimes lose myself in the beauty. To witness the rapid motion of a school of tiny fish or the weightless appearance of ghostlike seaweed, floating in the gentle currents is incredible to view from above... But what lies beneath the surface?
These vibrant sea pools are just the beginning. When I think about what it must be like to observe alien-like creatures that we crassly label 'fish', 'starfish', or 'shells', I begin to wonder more about the beauty to be encountered in a marine environment. How can life be sustained in an ever-changing ocean? The temperatures fluctuate with the seasons, one only has to look out towards the Pacific during the winter time to sea the majestic humpbacks make their treacherous, long journey north from the freezing Antarctic waters.
How can such a fragile ecosystem, or more accurately, series of marine ecosystems be sustained? In order to preserve our marine life, we need to learn more about these fragile communities and take better care of our oceans and coastlines. From the polar regions to the coral reefs we are surrounded by an incredible, complex and powerful series of marine systems that include dense kelp forests, salt marshes and mudflats, open oceans, hydrothermal vents, mangroves, rocky headlands, sandy shores, and the very sea pools that I explore with my family.
To continue my informal education of our local Marine Park, Byron and I have started to paddle around the nearby rocky point in Byron's sea kayak. With nothing but pure muscle power, we will explore deeper waters than we could ever reach on our surfboards. We will snorkel and photograph creatures and come home to search for their names from an online encyclopaedia of marine organisms. We will document our finds and share with you our images from time to time. We will continue to collect rubbish from our beaches and recycle whatever materials we can.
In order to more accurately record the local marine life, we have just ordered a Go Pro HD underwater camera. I cannot wait to share with you the sea creatures from the marine park at our front door (and perhaps the odd video of us surfing or diving to give you a decent, side-splitting belly laugh)... Conservation is as fun and educational as it is important.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on conservation and how you teach your children the importance of protecting our oceans and coastlines.