Workshop to explore Moeraki beach life

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A ‘Spying on Marine Life’ workshop being held at Moeraki tomorrow will give those who take part the chance to learn what sort of life is on the seashore.

Tessa Mills, manager of the the University of Otago’s NZ Marine Studies Centre at Portobello, said three staff – programme director Sally Carson, primary educator Victoria Rosin and outreach educator Brendon Flack – would be in Moeraki to run the programme.

“It’s called Marine Metre Squared and we go down to the beach and get groups to each measure off a square metre.”

The groups then list what they find in that square mere and put the data they collect online.

“The ideal is to do it at the same section next year,” Ms Mills said.

The programme is being run around New Zealand.

“We can see what is happening over time and can compare it around the country.”

Schools, community groups, families and members of the public are being encouraged to take part.

Ms Mills said Moeraki was ” a beautiful place” for the workshop, which would be led by Sally Carson, who is an expert on seaweed.

“If anyone is interested in learning about seaweed, they should come.”

She said the workshop could be used as a build-up to Seaweek, which is held from March 1 to 9 next year.

The centre has also published a Rocky Shore Guide, which Ms Mills said was an ideal resource to take to the beach to help identify the creatures and plants. More than 100,000 copies have been distributed nationwide.

Another guide is being planned on muddy/sandy shores.

Following the Moeraki workshop, which starts at 10am in Moeraki’s Coronation Hall, a presentation will be made at the Oamaru Public Library at 6pm.

By CHRIS TOBIN