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Diving into Seaweek!

Spotting huge snapper
Snorkellers exploring Goat Island marine reserve - image by Sophie Journee

Our Auckland team kicked off Seaweek with a bang by taking over 300 people exploring Te Hāwere-a-Maki/Goat Island marine reserve and Whangateau Estuary last weekend. We had a blast exploring both Aotearoa's oldest marine reserve and Auckland's most pristine estuarine environment.

Our jam packed weekend started of at Goat Island with some awesome conditions in order to explore this extra special rocky reef environment. Snorkellers were able to spot huge tāmure/snapper, feeding whai repo/eagle rays, schooling koheru, camouflaged hiwihiwi/kelpfish, abundant paketi/spotties and more! Many were blown away by the abundance of life present on the reef, with this experience being many peoples first time exploring a marine reserve. Whilst not in the water participants could learn about our freshwater critters and the local catchment from our awesome Wai Connection catchment coordinator Hana.

The following day we braved the rain to explore the stunning Whangateau Estuary in memory of the legendary Dr Roger Grace, who was a great marine conservation champion and had collected a lot of baseline data on this critical estuarine habitat. Participants got to witness the busy nature of estuaries with lots on display like snails, crabs, mantis shrimp, schooling mullet, parore, spotties and more. Thanks to some hard working filter feeders snorkellers got to enjoy some beautiful visibility despite the rain. Our awesome volunteers were also able to share some key marine conservation messages whilst guiding people through the mangroves like the importance of healthy filter feeders, sediment control, marine pest control, habitat restoration and more.

A big thank you to our event funders Water Safety New Zealand, Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa, Ministry for the Environment, The Bobby Stafford Bush Foundation, our event partners, Seaweek, Wai Connection, The Whangateau Holiday Park and of course our spectacular team of volunteers who put in a massive effort to give all our participants an experience of a lifetime safely exploring te moana!

Our epic EMR volunteers celebrating a successful event
Our epic EMR volunteers celebrating a successful event


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