With children back at school, many will soon start a 21-Day Challenge tied in with the America’s Cup, focused on the Hauraki Gulf marine environment.
Steve and Riley Hathaway of Young Ocean Explorers are behind the programme, which was designed with a team of teachers including Debbie Thompson of Whangaparaoa School. Whangaparaoa students were part of a pilot of the scheme last year.
It has so far been rolled out to more than 700 classrooms nationwide, and Steve says more are joining all the time.
Local schools taking part include Kingsway, Red Beach, Stanmore Bay, Gulf Harbour, Wentworth and Whangaparaoa Primary and College (juniors).
The challenge runs from February 15-March 15 in the lead up to the Cup final.
Students in Years 1-8 will be challenged to pick up at least one piece of rubbish per day (to learn more about plastic waste); complete a digital project and find ways to raise awareness.
Steve has made it his life’s mission to promote the importance of what lies under the waves.
“The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park turns 21 this year and talking with people all around the country, I find not one person can say exactly where it is,” Steve says. “The Gulf is one of the jewels in New Zealand’s crown and it faces significant challenges. We hope getting the children interested will encourage them to do something about it.”
It’s not too late for teachers to sign up to the programme – info and registration: youngoceanexplorers.com
Info about the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, including a map, doc.govt.nz