The possible reforms to the Batemans Bay Marine Park has spurred on a group of South Coast locals to organise an Ocean Care Day to educate and inform the community. In Febuary this year a group of people from many different community organisations including the Nature Coast Marine Group and the Eurobodalla Greens got together in Moruya to discuss responses to the NSW Government’s program of works to implement their marine estate management reforms.
Batemans Bay Marine Park is part of a pilot program which will see a new management plan applied to the marine park. Members of the group don’t know what form this management plan may take and are concerned that protections will be reduced and there will be fewer no-take sanctuary zones. As a response to these concerns Fiona McCuaig volunteered to host a community event on Sunday 27 May at the Bodalla Dairy Shed.
Fiona to The Beagle "The breadth of stresses on the marine environment at the moment cannot be underestimated."
"Climate change is the single biggest threat to both the marine environment and our enjoyment of it. On top of that we’ve got pollution - particularly plastics, and over fishing, especially from industrial scale trawlers which severely affect us down here on the Sth Coast."
"It's a day to celebrate marine life and it's protection" says Fiona who's marine work has taken her to the Faroe Islands and Antarctica.
"We're appealing to the whole community to come along and listen to talks from from businesses, fisherfolk, scientists, indigenous locals and tourism operators about the economic value of keeping Batemans Bay Marine Park."
There'll also be a jumping castle and face painting for the kids, as well as live music and puppet shows.
The Nature Coast Marine Group is also a big part of making the event happen.
A Bit of slideshow fun to promote the event - Photos by Gillianne Tedder