Eco-system education in the Banks Peninsula

New Banks Peninsula Water Zone Committee member Garrick Thorn writes about a programme which helps young people preserve waterways – right in their own backyards. 

An exciting new educational programme has begun on the Banks Peninsula, providing schools and kids with the tools and the knowledge to understand our unique aquatic eco-system.

At the April Banks Peninsula Water Zone Committee (BPWZC) meeting Kirsty Brennan from EOS Ecology introduced their education programme, Nature Agents.  This Programme has been developed to give school students authentic scientific experiences in their local environment.

The group provides the schools with equipment, training, information and some support time to enable students to set up their own monitoring of waterways, measuring critical parameters and to understand it’s ecology and health.  So far the programme has been to two schools, Okain’s Bay and Akaroa, and students and staff feedback has been positive.

These types of initiatives can have a wide and diverse positive impact on our water quality.  By working with EOS Ecology we can help identify waterways that could most benefit from such a monitoring regime.

Following changes in our waterways can help us identify problems early or understand how projects and initiatives are having an impact.  The BPWZC also hope to be able to support the EOS Ecology and its new Nature Agents by supplying knowledge to help to refine and improve the programme and through our connections and contacts help them and the children spread the word of their good work.

Banks Peninsula students testing for water purityEducation is such a great way of boosting our long-term water prospects and is something the Banks Peninsula Water Zone Committee is very interested in promoting and it’s great we have this happening in our area. 

We have such enthusiastic water advocates on the Peninsula and by building interest and inspiring our younger generations we will have even more positive impacts.

As a new member of the Banks Peninsula Water Committee, I've been hearing inspiring stories on how our communities are proactively getting involved in water projects and I’m excited to be part of it.