EMR was first piloted in Taranaki with St Pius School in 2011. The local provider for EMR in this region is Nga Motu Marine Reserve Society; who work in collaboration with the Department of Conservation. EMR Taranaki had over 100 at their community guided snorkel day last summer
"EMR is unique. It draws publicity and creates the opportunities to highlight the marine environment through the media. Community groups enjoy helping out because their kids are involved and with parents included as a crucial part of EMR from the outset, many become marine advocates too." Mike Tapp, DOC Taranaki.
Taranaki has a unique coastal environment, that is far more open and exposed than many other parts of New Zealand. There is some recreational and commercial fishing here when weather allows it. There are two local marine reserves, only one of which is accessible in practical terms to students, and then only occasionally. There are opportunities for exploring and studying the intertidal rather than subtidal areas of our local environment. The EMR team was lucky to strike some amazing weather in the marine reserve
A crucial aim of the programme is to introduce young people to marine conservation through EMR programme, this introduction is evident http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/midweek/7045454/Hooked-on-marine-reserves
In the final stage of the EMR programme it is time for the students to take action. As a way of encouraging the action projects, EMR offers 4 places for Taranaki students and their parents on the annual trip to the Poor Knights, the media associated with this experience made front page of the Taranaki Daily news http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/8723340/Marine-visit-an-awesome-experience
Our EMR ambassador coordinator Pat Swanson is the marine science teacher at Highlands Intermediate and has developed a great action project called 'Project Litter'