Establishing student led NZL Blue Belt projects at Worser Bay.
There are five long term projects that will be implemented at the Worser Bay NZL Blue Belt site which will get underway during 2023.
Paua Nursery: The paua nursery project will be led by the Wellington East Girl’s College team with support from from the NZ Marine Studies Centre (NZMSC). During 2023 we will sew the groundwork for this ongoing ‘take action’ project over the next few years at Worser Bay. The long-term goal is that the paua nursery at Worser Bay is used as a base for growing stock that can be used to reseed sites with paua around Motu Kairangi coastline, from Seatoun wharf to Scorching Bay. There are a range of preliminary research tasks that ākonga will get underway with in 2023 such as establishing a baseline of the paua numbers in and around the Worser Bay site, consultation with iwi and local community, finding out how to grow paua, exploring how to transplant paua, discovering what permissions are required to do this, and what protections can be put in place to safeguard the nursery.
Anemone garden: The anemone garden project will involve ākonga from a group of primary schools in the Kāhui Ako. These ākonga will run through a Moanamana version of the Experiencing Marine Reserves programme facilitated by the Mountains to Sea Wellington (MTSW) team. Each class will receive a class visit by a MTSW facilitator to set the scene for the project, will be introduced to the NZL Blue Belt tools and snorkeling at a pool session, will apply these tools at a snorkeling session at Worser Bay, and will then take-action by choosing a species and investigating how the site could be better managed to improve conditions for that species to thrive in the anemone garden area at Worser Bay. The Boat & Beach Wise (B&BW) team will use these ideas as part of a proposal to Wellington City and Regional Councils to install rock revetment and associated amenities to protect the buildings in this corner of Worser Bay, and in the process create a garden area that includes the ideas for habitat put forward by ākonga.
Kelp forest. The kelp forest project will involve MTSW working with kura and schools, and members of the broader community to establish a site for a kelp forest to the North of Worser Bay as part of the Love Rimurimu project. This will involve mapping kelp growth in Worser Bay and establishing tanks for growing kelp and associated species in the ‘Boat & Beach Wise’ shed at Worser Bay Boating Club. It will also include bringing the Worser Bay site into the broader Love Rimurimu kaupapa including securing the permitting to achieve this.
Snorkel trail. The snorkel trail will be led by the Wellington High School team with support from NZMSC and MTSW. During 2023 we will get underway with mapping out the trail and with the design and installation of the four key components that will make up the snorkel trail – story blocks, biodiversity surveys, sediment plates, and bait stations. Ākonga will investigate biodiversity survey methods and identify how long-term data can be collected using quadrats, transects, cameras, settlement plates. A series of stops on the snorkel trail will be established for story blocks with handholds that people can dive down to and read one aspect of the story of Wellington harbour, from Tangaroa, Tāwhirimātea, Ika-a- Maui, Ngake, Kupe, Tara, to Heberley and the naming of Worser Bay. Adjacent to each block will be a survey station and throughout the trail will be a series of baited video stations. Each of these elements will be made and installed in such a way that they are heavy enough to remain in situ but not too heavy so that cannot be removed if necessary.
Waka building. The waka building project will be undertaken by the Rongotai College team with support from the B&BW team. The goal over two to three years is for ākonga at Rongotai College to build two wakatere to be used at Worser Bay, within the context of the Moanamana module for plankton and temperature monitoring. The wakatere will also be used within the Kōrinorino and Kōkōkaha modules of the broader RUNA programme across the Kāhui Ako. Groups of ākonga from Rongotai will travel to the SailGP in Christchurch and later in the year go on a Waka Hourua wānanga with the Te Toki Voyaging Trust to help them get a feel for what is possible as they embark on their waka building journey.