The Fresh Air Kids is a group of local families that want their children to spend time in the great outdoors, learning through playing in nature.
A community partnership with the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee, Fresh Air Kids aims to encourage local coastal kids to grow up observing the environment in more detail than even most adults do.
Date | 21.03.2017
Participants – Noah, Claudia, Darcy
It was always going to be a wet afternoon. The Bureau of Meteorology was predicting ‘Storms with Heavy Falls’, and they were spot on – it was so wet! Despite this dire forecast we had decided to continue onwards in the spirit of rain, hail, or shine. I insisted to everyone just make sure to bring your raincoats.
It started as a light drizzle at 4pm, but that descended quickly into an extremely heavy rain shower which didn’t let up for the whole time we were outside.
I had intended to get the kids to help me model a sand dune by creating a large sandcastle complete with seaweed and sticks as vegetation. When we walked over to the open ocean side of Roadknight the driving sideways rain saturated through our raincoats and we promptly retreated back to the relative shelter of the Moonah canopy in the carpark.
We noticed that a flash flood was being created by water accumulating in the carpark and beginning to flow down the path to the beach – the rarely seen Point Roadknight River! So, we went to check it out and decided that it made a great model of a barrier estuary system, the estuary system that characterises the rivers on our coastline. We dammed it up but very soon our efforts were thwarted by the rising water level, and our barrier was broken in a violent gush of water – which the kids tried to surf on an abandoned body board.
Anglesea and Aireys are classic examples of barrier estuary systems. They are not always open to the ocean, instead they are blocked by drifts of sand that wash or blow in to form a damming barrier. The coastal lagoon that results becomes an important and sheltered breeding site for fish. During storm events, these can either break open naturally or are cut out by authorities to prevent flooding. The juvenile fish take this opportunity to start their lives in the ocean, and the mature ocean species of fish will enter to lay their eggs in the relative safety of the estuary.
We’ll be meeting again weekly in Term 2, and encourage Anglesea families to join us each week on Tuesdays at 4pm. For more details please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time,