Sasha Dines from the School of Environmental Sciences writes about celebrating World Oceans Day:
“For the past three years students at the University of Liverpool have hosted an event in the city to celebrate World Oceans Day on 8 June. This year we were lucky enough to get the support of the World Museum and host a free weekend event there on the 7 and 8 June 2014.
“The event was geared towards children and young families with the aim to introduce them to the fascination of marine life and for young people to understand how important the ocean’s ecology is to global environmental concerns. Issues like marine debris and overfishing are huge threats to such a valuable resource and we wanted to instil this message in the public. In connection to this we hoped to educate families and young people about what’s going on closer to home in the seas around Merseyside and the North West, with information on local beach clean ups and whale and dolphin surveys.
“The event was organised and funded by students from the University’s School of Environmental Sciences and Ocean Sciences who hosted Bake Sales and sponsored Beach Clean Ups at Crosby beach to fundraise a total of £1102 which went towards making 2014’s World Oceans Day as engaging as possible.
“Hosting the event at the World Museum allowed us to put on a wider array of activities than last year. We had the opportunity to take over the whole building with multiple events running across the weekend. There were rock pool demonstrations and mermaid storytelling time in the Aquarium. We also had knowledge quests in the Aquarium teaching children about the animals there. The Treasure House Theatre had showings of Finding Nemo over the weekend and a real life mermaid princess Ariel Storytelling. There was a giant mural collage created in the Clore Natural History Centre as a lasting memory of the weekend with children learning about and drawing their favourite sea creatures.
“The Horse Shoe Gallery hosted the main event with ocean themed face painting, fish themed arts and crafts; making shark hats and ‘save the whales’ badges. Also at the event were several marine conservation charities with stalls and activities to engage the public. These organisations provided information on the work they do and how we can help to conserve the local wildlife and coast. Children paced out the length of a Blue Whale, the public tried out scuba diving gear and got a feel for what it would be like to explore the depths of the ocean. We also had Marine Biology undergraduates and staff on hand talking about what it’s like to be a marine biologist in the real world, talking to lots of keen teenagers and children.
“Overall the weekend was great fun and really popular, the final visitor count was over 3000 guests for the two days. This was up 28% on museum visitors from last year! It was great to spread the message of World Ocean Day; how we need to protect our oceans more and what’s out there locally for the public to engage in. If you want any more information on the organisations at World Oceans Day or how you can get involved, visit the Liverpool WOD Facebook page and links to all the charities are on that page.
“I’d like to thank the staff at the World Museum, for all their support over the past year, Becs Beautiful Faces, Friend of the Sea, Liverpool Bay Marine Life Trust, Marine Conservation Society, PADI Project Aware, RSPB, Sea Watch Foundation, Sustainable Food City Liverpool, The University of Liverpool, Yu Diving, all the students at the University who volunteered over the weekend and of course everyone who came down to the event and made it such a fun weekend.”
To view photographs from the weekend, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.527307667375542.1073741830.232524733520505&type=3.