Te Atatu pupils focus on maritime environment

17 September 2007

Te Atatu school children will get a fresh insight into challenges to our maritime environment when they visit Maritime New Zealand’s Marine Pollution Response Service (MPRS) this Thursday as part of World Maritime Day celebrations.

Pupils from Matipo School and Peninsula Primary will learn first hand about environmental protection and oil spill response in New Zealand by participating in various interactive activities. World Maritime Day is celebrated every year by Maritime New Zealand (MNZ).  The theme is set by the International Maritime Organization. This year’s theme is Responding to environmental challenges.

General Manager of MPRS, Nick Quinn, said the Open Day would encourage young people to think about the ‘big picture’ when it came to marine environmental protection.

“Oil spills, sewage, chemicals, ballast water and antifouling paints all pose very serious threats to our marine environment,” said Mr Quinn.

“Pupils will participate in various activities during the open day where they will learn about threats to our marine environment and oil clean up techniques.  They will also learn how various types of oil affect the water as well as the impact on wildlife,” he said.

MPRS is based at Te Atatu and is New Zealand’s lead national oil spill response agency. The team of highly skilled pollution experts hold regular training for regional council staff. They have trained over 400 responders in New Zealand which includes a 50-strong national response team.

In addition to the Open Day, MNZ is also hosting a function for members of the maritime community to be held at the Maritime Museum, Auckland, this evening.

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