The Great Ocean Road coastline relies on the support of community groups and volunteers to keep this breathtaking part of the world sustainable for future generations. This post is a special post from the Friends of the Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary (FERMS) who look after the sanctuary above and below the surface. Read more
260 Torquay College students swapped the classroom for the beach last week as part of educational activities led by Torquay Surf Lifesaving Club and the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC).
The year 5 and 6 students enjoyed a week of outdoor activities, guest speakers and hands on learning as part of GORCC’s Environmental Education Program.
Activities focused on topics such as dune preservation, marine wildlife and the importance of fragile ecosystems.
Rock pool investigations were popular, with students relishing the opportunity to discover the interesting creatures that live on the coast.
GORCC Education Activity Leader Pete Crowcroft said the students were excited to be out and about in their local environment.
“The program is a fantastic way to get students interested and involved in the marine environment.
“Their eagerness to learn about the fauna living in the rock pools really demonstrated their natural curiosity.
“By getting students to care about the coast at a young age, we’re really hoping that they will grow up to appreciate and look after their own backyard,” Mr Crowcroft said.
Torquay College teacher Chelsea James said there was a real excitement in the air as the kids descended onto the coast.
“The students learn and remember extraordinary facts about the animals they see which they take home and share with their families and friends.
“The GORCC program creates an exciting classroom and provides hands on learning which is really important to encourage them learn and ask questions,” Ms James said.
GORCC Conservation Supervisor Georgie Beale said it is important to encourage students to appreciate the natural environment.
“Education is the key and inviting younger members of the community to become involved in coastal protection will to create a future generation that loves and cares for the coast,” said Ms Beale.
GORCC offers groups of all ages the opportunity to engage in hands on learning to understand, respect and protect the local coastal surroundings.
For more information about GORCC’s free activities for schools and groups or to learn more about how you can help to care for the local coast, visit our website.
This article appeared in the Surf Coast Times Green the Coast column.