Marine expert Richard Coward (from Ocean Life Education) returned to Kingfisher Bay Resort this month with his unique take on the marine life that flourishes in and around the Great Sandy Strait, Fraser Island and the Coral Sea. Richard was the ‘star’ attraction on our What’s On Guide last week with some fabulous marine facts, figures and fun for our guests – young and old. (September 2012).
What a great weekend we had on Fraser Island in early September, the weather was fantastic and the water was a beautiful colour around the island! It was the inhabitants that live in these pristine waters that I was only too happy to discuss with the boys from St Joseph’s Catholic School (from Brisbane) on Friday night (who were at the resort as part of an educational tour), hotel guests on the Saturday night and to the Junior Eco Rangers on Saturday afternoon.
My presentations highlighted the important marine habitat areas that harbour a mosaic of different aquatic animals. Explaining that Mangroves, Rocky shores, beach and Sea Grass areas are vital in providing breeding, nursery, feeding stations, and protective zones for a great number of animals.
Most of us don’t comprehend or realise just how many living things are found in the sand, and that a beach isn’t just a lifeless band between the sea and the bush, beaches are in fact a highway of food and nutrients flowing between the two, thanks to massive numbers of invertebrate fauna!
Emphasis was given on the ever increasing devastation of human impact on the marine environment today, just how plastic pollution is pushing whole species of animals to the brink of extinction. Similarly Coral bleaching was discussed, what bleaching is and how human activity has brought about this widespread destruction of our coral reef habitat and in turn how this adversely effects a huge number of species that call the reef home!
Did you know? Website CNNGo has recently named Hervey Bay (Fraser Island) as the NUMBER ONE place to watch Humpback Whales in the world!
September being Humpback Whale Watch season (the whales wallow in the calm waters off Fraser Island from August till the end of October) also brought about discussion as to why the whales are here at this time of year, what all their frolicking antics are about and again the impact humans are having upon them.
I enjoyed my stay on Fraser Island and at Kingfisher Bay Resort; my passion is sharing knowledge about the marine environment, explaining why animals are the way they are and why they do the things they do, what their role is in the environment and why we need to look after them!
My audiences were enthusiastic and grateful; the St Joseph’s boys were a credit to themselves and their school and to the teachers who were with them. I would also like to thank Joe and his team of Rangers for making us welcome and look forward to my next visit to the island! Keep up the good ‘environmental’ work!
Richard Coward – Director of Education
Ocean Life Education
Kingfisher Bay Resort is a proud supporter and business partner of The Australian Marine Conservation Society.