Experience Marine Reserves interactive days take place this weekend with two events at two locations.
Explore the waters of Enclosure Bay on Saturday 18 January between 11am and 4pm by bringing your own gear or get free hire of mask, snorkel, fins and wetsuits.
EMR founder and national coordinator Samara Nicholas says that it will be a fantastic day in the sheltered bay.
“We will see spotties, lots of starfish and goatfish on the bottom and learn about kina barrens which are a real problem in the Hauraki Gulf,” she says.
There are wetsuits available in all sizes for free hire making the experience accessible for everyone. The Enclosure Bay exploring days have been operating for the past 10 years and consecutively for the past six. There is no need to book, says Samara, people can just turn up on the day to register.
The event is recommended for children over five years old, and an adult beach observer must accompany all children under 15. Experienced guides and advanced safety procedures will be in place.
The Te Matuku Bay Stand Up Paddleboard Tour on Sunday 19 January still has places available.
The tour, which is run in conjunction with SUP Waiheke, heads through the mangroves, “giving people the opportunity to not only learn a new skill but also the value of Te Matuku, bird watching and the marine life you see in the habitat,” says Samara.
There will be two sessions on the day, one at 1.30pm and the second at 3pm and participants are required to show up 20 minutes before their slot. There are eight free stand up paddleboard hires in each timeslot and four BYO kayak or stand up paddleboard places.
Registrations for the Te Matuku Marine Reserve Tour are essential and can be done through emr.org.nz. The minimum age is 10. Rain date is 15 March. Updates can also be followed on facebook.com/emr.mtsct
“We appreciate donations to participate, either by cash or eftpos on the day, online or by giving a koha of your time volunteering at a future event. Most people donate $5 to $10 per person,” says Samara. •