SYDNEY MARINE PARK: Newsletter 1, Jan 2015
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2014…A big year for marine issues

Dear <<First Name>>,
What a year it’s been. We’ve had some great times and some frustrations, but overall we’ve made progress towards conserving the marine environment of NSW thanks to  support from people like you. A brief summary:

Good news…or just less bad?

  • The state government amnesty that allowed fishing to occur in sanctuary zones has been partially removed. Thanks to the hard work of so many, 20 sanctuary zones have been returned to true sanctuary status with the removal of the amnesty.  This leaves 10 sanctuary zones still open to fishing, subject to a review in 2015.
  • Our Commonwealth marine reserves are also under review despite a massive community consultation process and scientific investigation. 
  • We still have big gaps in our NSW marine park network, most notably in the Sydney and Twofold Shelf regions. The state Labor party has declared they will create a Sydney marine park if elected, and the state Coalition government has announced a scientific study of sites around Sydney to inform a decision regarding a Sydney marine park.

Community activists, Scientists, Aboriginal Elders, economists, and Marine Archaeologists join forces for Sydney’s marine future.  

The marine forum which NPA held on November 9th at the Bondi Pavilion was a great success and we have several videos of the presentations on youtube to show for it. Make sure you check out the “Round table discussions” which draw together recommendations across many stakeholder groups to make a Sydney Marine Park a reality. Make sure you look at the short compilation video that summarises some big ideas from Forum participants. Feel free to use these materials to educate your community and local politicians about how we can make a Sydney Marine Park happen.

New Year’s resolution

We’re starting 2015 with a couple of big goals:

  1.  We have to see all of our precious marine sanctuary zones returned to true sanctuary status. Anything less is going backwards at a time when we need more protection of our marine environment, not less.
  2. We must make sure that the process for a Sydney Marine Park is open, consultative and based on scientific evidence. The proposed study covers only 9 small sites in Sydney – nowhere near enough to properly assess potential areas for marine protection. To date there has been no real consultation or community engagement – despite the assurances of the state government.

How can you get involved in the Sydney Marine Park Campaign? You can:

  1. Visit our web site  to learn more and take action. This site is currently being upgraded. Thousands of letters have been sent to the NSW government from the action part of this site. The revised site will contain more information on the important marine areas around Sydney that should be considered in the next government cycle. Watch this space for more information.
  2. Share, like and comment on our NPA Marine social media site to help spread the word  
  3. Watch and share the videos of the Bondi Marine Forum
  4. Volunteer to help with campaign activities in the field or desktop support. There is a niche for you whether you can spare a few hours or a couple of days a week. Contact Gary Schoer to discuss choices.

NPA is also supporting 2 new projects, firstly a citizen science study of Weedy Seadragon populations around Sydney. Secondly, NPA is partnering with Underwater Research Group to assess historical data from the ‘60s onwards to compare with current marine survey data to understand how our marine environment has changed. John Turnbull is best contact for these projects.

Once again thanks to all our supporters for making a real difference in 2014. We’re looking forward to making even more progress this year, so keep that support coming!
NPA Marine Team
Contact details:
Gary Schoer
Marine Education Facilitator, NPA  
Ph: 9570 1813
John Turnbull
Executive Committee member
Copyright © 2015 National Parks Association of NSW, All rights reserved.

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