The Dandenong ISIC Marine Ambassadors for the Great Southern Reef had a fantastic workshop at Ricketts Point last Friday! Many of our Dandenong Ambassadors have never snorkelled before, and they had a ball during their snorkel training session with our partners at Dive2U! After a briefing on the importance of this marine sanctuary and some of the indigenous and non-indigenous species that can be found in the sanctuary, they had a training session and guided snorkel where they spotted rays, sea stars, a range of fish species and more. The water was a little choppy for our new snorkelers, however, they embraced the challenge and there was lots of fun and laughter from all! The Ambassadors had a ball viewing the marine life up close, and these sessions are so important to help them make deeper connections to their local bay, and inspire them to understand the importance of marine conservation!
Ambassadors also enjoyed a rockpool ramble and had fun learning about all the intertidal marine critters that call this sanctuary their home. Crabs, snails, flatworms and seastars were amongst the many species we found along the way, and we were even lucky enough to have some visiting pelicans and swans resting on the rock platform.
The seagrass identification session was another highlight as the Ambassadors searched amongst the seagrass for invertebrates, and we loved hearing their squeals of delight as they spotted creatures hidden amongst the seagrass!
It was so inspiring to witness our Ambassadors making connections to their local marine environment, and knowing that they now have a deeper understanding of the threats faced by our precious coastal marine environments and the actions they can take toward a more positive environmental future for all! It was a fantastic day and we want to thank our partners at the Greater City of Dandenong, the ISIC teachers, parents and carers for without you these sessions would not be possible!