Celebrating the United Nations International Day for biological diversity (22nd May), the Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme has published My Explorers Seashore Guide Work Book with support from the National Biodiversity Data Centre’s Explore Your Shore! project, to raise awareness about our seashore’s marine biodiversity in Ireland.
Congratulating the Explorers Education Programme on their collaboration with The Explore Your Shore! project, funded by the EPA, Dr Paul Connolly, CEO Marine Institute said, “The United Nations International Day for biological diversity promotes ‘our solutions are in nature’ and places an emphasises on solidarity and working together to build a future in harmony with nature. We welcome, therefore, the support of citizen science projects such as this with primary school children.”
Leading into the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030), there is an emphasis on a global movement to transform ocean science for a better world. “Taking the time to enjoy and learn more about our seashore, at a local level provides an important opportunity to examine our relationship with our abundant marine environment, creating ocean champions of the future.” Dr Connolly added.
“We are delighted to collaborate with the Explore Your Shore! project team and publish an early online version of My Explorers Seashore Guide Work Book that is free to download on www.explorers.ie. The workbook provides a range of activities encouraging children to explore the shore, take photos, draw and write about their discoveries. It also encourages children to become citizen scientists for the day and load snapshots of the species they find to www.ExploreYourShore.ie to help document marine seashore species in Ireland,” said Cushla Dromgool-Regan, author of the book and Explorers Education Strategic Manager, Camden Education Trust.
Ireland has 3,171 km of coastline and there are relatively few records of intertidal and coastal marine species. As an island nation, with over half of Ireland’s population living 5km from the ocean, the seashore provides a unique opportunity to learn more about the incredible biodiversity that is on our doorsteps.
“With the Explorers Education Programme reaching over 12,000 children in schools annually, we are delighted to feature in the book that will be used later this year in schools. The book supports our efforts to record and increase our knowledge about the distribution of our intertidal species around the Irish coastline. By releasing this fun resource now, we hope that many more children will get the opportunity to start their seashore exploration through their stay at home learning over the summer months,” said David Wall, Citizen Science Officer, National Biodiversity Data Centre.
Teachers taking part in the Explorers Education Programme Seashore Safari modules next term will all receive copies of the books for their students in their class. As an early release, the book is now available online at www.explorers.ie for parents to use at home over the next month before home schooling breaks up.