Mountains to Sea Wellington has received funding that benefits young people and communities throughout the Wellington region.
“The Hutt Mana Charitable Trust provided $3,000 which made it possible for us to replace inventory and has helped us to deliver our marine programmes to more students, and support our community snorkel days,” says Jorge Jimenez, Marine Programme Manager.
Equipping students with snorkel gear
Mountains to Sea Wellington have purchased 24 customised 5mm wetsuits and two weight belts with the funding – ensuring snorkellers are warm and comfortable during their experience.
“Our education programmes are gaining in popularity with our numbers increasing each year. Over 1,400 students took part in our programmes last season, and 500 more community members came along to our guided community snorkel days,” says Jorge.
The goal of the trust is to inspire future generations to connect with nature and to develop kaitiakitanga (guardianship) for our rivers, harbours and coast. Their freshwater and marine education programmes, and free community events, give everybody an opportunity to explore their local environment with knowledgeable and enthusiastic coordinators.
Protecting the environment
Programmes such as the ‘Experiencing Marine Reserves’ programme teaches students about biodiversity, human impact and the importance of marine reserves for the conservation of our oceans. Students start their learning in the classroom, and then have snorkelling training in a pool before going on a field trip to their local marine reserve.
“The students are also encouraged to get involved with planting days, coastal clean-ups, stormwater monitoring and other environmental projects”, says Jorge.
“We want to get young people out of the classroom and show them they have the power to do something and be the guardians of their own environment.”
Mountains to Sea Wellington relies upon local support from councils, trusts and support in kind from many other aligned regional organisations, and their amazing volunteers.
“We are incredibly grateful for the grant we received from the Hutt Mana Charitable Trust. Applying was easy and very straightforward,” says Jorge.