Estuary catchment care focus for NRC teacher workshop

7 Mar 2014

Twenty-two teachers are set to attend a special Northland Regional Council workshop highlighting the environmental education teaching opportunities offered by taking care of the region’s many estuaries.

Teachers from Far North, Whangarei and Kaipara schools will gather on Wednesday 26 March at Ngunguru Estuary for the day-long estuary-themed environmental education workshop – believed to be the first of its kind for Northland.

Environmental Education Officer Susan Botting says the workshop is part of the regional council's 'Waiora Northland Water' project, focussed on further boosting the health of the North's estuary catchments.

The multi-pronged project draws together a wide range of water quality-focussed council activities, including catchment care, researching community waterway values and uses and working with industry groups such as Fonterra and DairyNZ.

With that in mind, the council decided on an estuary catchment care theme for its 2014 teacher's environmental education workshop.

"Estuaries are a key feature of Northland's coast," Ms Botting says.

"Rivers, streams and creeks flow from the land behind our estuaries. What happens on that land has a huge influence on the estuaries where we like to gather kaimoana, swim, play and more.

She says as part of the workshop teachers will be hands-on in Ngunguru Estuary, hear about the regional council's estuary management projects and take part in fun hands-on take home teaching resource activities.

"Estuaries and their catchments offer an incredible range of environmental education opportunities for teachers in all sorts of fields from the sciences to the arts," Ms Botting says.

Teachers from a wide variety of schools from Kaitaia to Mangawhai will be attending the workshop.

"The workshop will empower teachers to boost their estuary catchment care-themed environmental education, in turn giving students opportunities to get involved in doing their bit for Northland's many and varied estuaries."