The Mermaid Pools at Matapouri have become a huge hit with visitors to the Tutukaka Coast. Over the summer 1000s of people have visited the pools to swim and take in the scenery. But can the pools cope with this amount of “loving”? We investigate the current state of the pools and talk about how they have changed over the past few years.
In the last week of November we had our last in-water session with yr 6 at Ngunguru School. We feel privileged to have had this year group who have enthusiastically embraced the Hauora Moana monitoring of the Ngunguru Estuary outside their school.
Again it was surprisingly warm and we got carried along by the incoming tide, snorkeling over the Te Maika reef area and cockle beds.
Triplefin and feeding cockle
Neptune’s Necklace – Hormosira banksii
The kids are very used to the consensus process now and agreement between the 4 groups averaged out at a very accurate assessment of the health of the area.
We are very grateful to the school, RIck Sayer, Quinton Rahui and Eden Ford for their support and enthusiasm enabling Ocean Spirit to continue working with Yr 6 into the future.
We traveled down to Auckland on Friday in Moana-iti, our electric Nissan Leaf (with 3 charging stops) to give a presentation on the SeaBin Project to Island Cruising NZ at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. There was a lot of interest in the plastic issue with many possible solutions being discussed…. we feel there are many approaches to be made at every level to tackle this momentous issue and almost all are fueled by grassroots movements. Absolutely everyone is responsible, which means that absolutely everyone can make a difference.
We are very happy to be working with Ngunguru Primary School, monitoring the health of the Ngunguru Estuary under our Hauora Moana Initiative. We started the Hauora Moana Initiative in the school earlier this year and the kids have enthusiastically embraced it
The estuary is on their doorstep….
Using a qualitative methodology, which has evolved from Glenn’s Master’s thesis, we snorkeled with yr 6 in a small area on the north side of the estuary off the Red Rocks channel marker. Working in pairs they made their intuitive assessment and then came together in groups to reach a consensus about what the area was telling them in terms of its health.
Back in the classroom everyone came to an agreement on the area only being about 1/2 as healthy as it could be.
This programme is an on-going part of yr 6’s timetable throughout the year.
Ocean Spirit is devoted to fostering in humanity a deeper and more harmonious relationship with our Ocean Planet home – the only one we have.
It is not our right to interfere in the lives of other species
But when our paths cross
It is our duty to behave in such a way
That we do no harm.
Let’s look after her!
22 March 2018
Another article in the NZ Herald!! This time it’s about our Seabin – the 1st in NZ that’s coming to Tutukaka Marina thanks to Ocean Spirit, The Marina, Huanui College Interact Club and the Whangarei City Rotary Club! What a fantastic collaborative effort.
13 March 2018
Glenn gets interviewed by the NZ Herald.
Check out this link to the article in the He Tangata section on 13 March.
NZ National Seaweek and Ocean Spirit teamed up with Debris Free NZ & Sup Pro Paddle Boarding NZ for a community beach clean at Sandy Bay on the Tutukaka Coast. We enjoyed a beautiful afternoon ‘sweeping’ the beach with an awesome team of enthusiastic locals! The kids took a lot of care shifting through the seaweed and sand for micro-plastics – the very small bits of plastic – which in the ocean can be ingested by sea creatures and sea birds, filling their guts with toxic plastics resulting in their deaths.
We had a fantastic day at the Volvo Ocean Race Village in Auckland last week with Lucy Hunt and Robin Clegg who are behind the Ocean Plastic Education Programme for the race. We saw our 1st Seabin in action and sifted through the contents – lots of small fragments of plastic, plastic nurdles, food wrappers etc mixed in with shrimps, sea grass, mangroves seeds etc.
We came away even more motivated and enthusiastic!
We all love our beaches! Keeping them free of our rubbish helps the Ocean stay healthy and makes her a safer home for all beings who live within her watery embrace.
Sandy Bay, Tutukaka Coast – community beach clean during National NZ Seaweek
3pm – 5pm bring a picnic and join the fun!
Ocean Spirit is co-hosting the event with Debris Free NZ.
Skupors our Tongan dog – a total beach lover!
Waitangi Day celebrations at the Waiting Treaty Grounds – Feb 6th 2018
Once again a place of coming together to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and once again a small but dedicated team of volunteers were there to sort waste into recyclable, compostable and landfill streams. Organised by CBEC EcoSolutions.
Ocean Spirit is thrilled to be the catalyst for getting the first Seabin to New Zealand!
“WE HAVE RUBBISH BINS ON LAND,
WHY NOT HAVE THEM IN THE OCEAN?”
The Tutukaka Coast continues to play its part in the growing worldwide awareness of the need to change our relationship with plastic.
The culmination of a two year collaboration between Ocean Spirit, Tutukaka Marina Management and Trust Board, the Interact Club at Huanui College, Glenbervie and Whangarei City Rotary Club represents another valuable step in the Tutukaka Coast Plastic Free Initiative.
Made financially possible by the phenomenal fundraising efforts of the Interact Club students at Huanui College and by sponsorship from the Whangarei City Rotary Club, Tutukaka will receive the first Seabin to be installed in a New Zealand marina.
Students Pippa Benton and Lagi Paul, the Interact Club organisers, were so inspired by a presentation given to Huanui College in 2017 by Ocean Spirit, that they committed to fundraising for the Tutukaka Seabin. Supported by Whangarei City Rotary Club, the target was achieved in November last year and the order placed.
Pippa has chosen the Seabin as her science project for the 2018 National Secondary Schools Science Fair. She plans to monitor the Tutukaka Marina Seabin’s activity, conducting a regular weekly survey of its contents. Pippa is passionate about the ocean and is a keen diver. This is a wonderful educational opportunity for her and for The Seabin Project, who are committed to education as the most effective long term solution to ocean pollution.
What’s a Seabin?
- A rubbish bin that sucks in floating marine litter, micro plastics, surface oil and pollutant spills.
- Moving up and down with the tide, it sucks in water, catches any floating rubbish in a catch bag and pumps pollution-free water back into the marina.
- It can trap roughly 1.5kgs of floating debris per day (depending on weather and debris volumes), including micro plastics down to 2mm small.
- Five years of research and development have gone into its design
- It evolved from a passion for the ocean held by two avid surfers, Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski, who quit their jobs to develop it.
December 2017 / January 2018
Ocean Blessings for the 2018 Season to all our Friends!
Woolleys Bay, Tutukaka Coast, NZ
Here’s a series of videos from our favourite local beach, Woolleys Bay – just picking up any rubbish that shouldn’t be there and enjoying the Ocean!
The Natural Phenomena Conference over the weekend of 17 – 19 November was truly phenomenal! The quality of the presenters, keynote speakers and organisational team was exceptional… It took place in a sacred and beautiful space surrounded by wise old trees, under canvas in absolutely pouring rain!!! Everyone’s spirits stayed surprisingly high kept up by the camaraderie and utterly yummy food supplied in abundance by a local restaurant, Wahi Bar in Tutukaka! Vegans and vegetarians equally catered for.
Ocean Spirit ran a workshop – bringing the Ocean to the conference – helped by the rain!
It was a single use plastic free conference – the delegate bags were Boomerang bags all sewn by the committee and included hand made pottery mugs, metal straws, bamboo toothbrushes and handmade produce bags.. an incredible effort!
When we launched the Tutukaka Coast Plastic Free Initiative at the beginning of this year we had no idea where the journey would take us. It just felt like the right thing to do. Ten months later and so much has sprouted from that one little ‘idea seed’.
Many little ‘plastic free’ seedlings have taken root and are sprouting up along the Tutukaka Coast. Some have blown farther afield to flourish in homes across the world.
We don’t always get to hear about the fruits which are being enjoyed by people and communities, but one that we are immensely blessed to be able to share in, is the journey of the home school families from Kaeo, Northland. For 6 months we supported their science project to see if so-called compostable takeaway coffee cups really do compost in a home compost bin. They won a gold in the annual school Science Fair for Northland! Their creativity has now blossomed into making Boomerang Bags and yesterday they drove down to visit us and handed over 4 of their bags! They are a work of art and we now get to experience the joy of carrying our shopping around in beautiful bags made with love and laughter!
Bag Ingredients = heaps of fun, buckets of learning, cupfulls of creativity, dollops of imagination and the coming together of community.
What started as a project with the coffee cups has grown into Plastic Free Kaeo involving people in caring for their community and their surroundings..
The Tutukaka Coast Plastic Free seed has been a catalyst of inspiration for initiatives such as this and we feel incredibly blessed to be a part of the on-going support which strengthens the roots and enables the projects to grow on their own.
Whilst we are still supporting these initiatives to build their own momentum, we feel we are now able to devote some more of our time and energy towards other projects dear to our hearts such as – The Reef Guardian Programme and 3D Ocean Permaculture.
More on that coming soon!
During the weekend of 17th – 19th November Ocean Spirit will be presenting at the Natural Phenomena Conference 2017. Organised by the Nature Education Network, this unique tented conference is run in the outdoors. Suitable for just about anyone who is passionate about re-connecting with our roots on Papatuanuku. Attendees include educators, parents, playscape designers, academics, artists, policy makers who believe nature is a powerful teacher.
In 2008 we were living in the Kingdom of Tonga running a diving and whale watching operation. Our base was on Foa in the Ha’apai group of islands.
Life was busy. But we were often reminded by our dog friend, Skupors, to slow down and enjoy life. A tropical island girl through and through she came into our lives at 6 weeks old and swam, kayaked, whale watched, ran in the bush and beach walked with us.
When we left in 2010 leaving her behind wasn’t an option – even though our rational minds said, “too difficult” our hearts said, “no way!.” Landing in New Zealand as an immigrant her life changed dramatically. “We took the dog out of Tonga, but you can’t take Tonga out of the dog.” Her spiritual home is still the beach and her foraging skills are unsurpassed!
Skupors is an integral part of Ocean Spirit and as we deepen our relationship with all of life, so our connection with her deepens. Relationships are at the very heart of Life, connecting us to the wider consciousness, to the seen and unseen world we are deeply embedded in.
Underpinning our whole way of being is our belief that all life has intrinsic value beyond what it offers mankind and :
It is not our right to interfere in the lives of other species,
But when our paths cross
It is our duty to behave in such a way
That we do no harm.
In support of International Plastic Free July, The Ocean is Alive is available until 10th July on Amazon at the following special prices:
Amazon.com US$12.00 paperback / US$1.99 Kindle
Amazon.co.uk £9.34 paperback / £1.99 Kindle
amazon.co.eu Euros 11.36 paperback
If you live in New Zealand, the paperback is available for the whole of July at the special price of: NZ$25.00 + $5p&p, direct from us. Please email us: email@example.com
“… The Ocean Is Alive is first and foremost a celebration of the Ocean in all her living splendour. It takes the reader on a fascinating and informative voyage of discovery into the blue heart our planet, from the Ocean’s formation more than four billion years ago and the emergence of life deep below her surface, to the incredible diversity and exuberance we know today. But much more than this, it is a journey of discovery into Ocean consciousness: through the evolution of the senses, the emergence of sentient behaviour, and finally an intriguing exploration of what the author calls ‘Ocean Mind’.
In telling the Ocean’s story… Continue reading “Welcome to Ocean Spirit”