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Monday, October 3, 2016

AUSMEPA selected as Google Impact Challenge finalist for Port Emissions Portal project

4 October 2016 today announced that AUSMEPA’s Port Emissions Portal has been selected as one of ten finalists in the 2016 Google Impact Challenge in Australia, which awards funding to Australian non-profit innovators with big ideas for a better world.

AUSMEPA’s project, the Port Emissions Portal, addresses the current lack of essential ship emissions data for the shipping industry. Utilising satellite tracking and a big data approach, the platform will enable ports and their stakeholders to measure air quality and changing air patterns throughout the port environs.

“AUSMEPA’s clear mandate is to protect Australia’s maritime environment, and one of the biggest challenges we are facing is climate change. This is not just a local issue, however action has to start at a local level. With shipping’s exclusion from the COP21 global agreement on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, we are taking a leading role in providing the industry with effective solutions” said AUSMEPA Chairman, Capt Warwick Norman.

Starting in Australia and scaling up to over 170 countries, AUSMEPA’s port emissions portal plans to connect over 3,000 ports and improve the knowledge of air emissions associated with shipping activities in port.

As part of an international community of MEPAs (Marine Environment Protection Associations) Capt Norman said "AUSMEPA’s plan was to work with their international counterparts to provide a locally-initiated, global solution to shipping’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions."

AUSMEPA could be one of four organisations to receive a $750,000 grant to further to assist in developing the port emissions portal. The six additional finalists will receive $250,000.

A judging panel will select three winners, and a fourth will be selected based on public voting, which is open from 4 – 25 October via

Alan Noble, Google Australia’s Director of Engineering, said “We know good ideas combined with technology can help to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges. Ten Australian non-for-profits have been selected as finalists in the latest round of the Google Impact Challenge for their outstanding ideas to use technology to make an impact on important causes.”

AUSMEPA are encouraging all maritime industry stakeholders around the world to support their initiative and vote for increased transparency and improved knowledge of air emissions caused by shipping activity in ports.

Anyone can go online and vote in favour of the AUSMEPA project here

The Australian Marine Environment Protection Association (AUSMEPA) is dedicated to protecting Australia’s marine environment, which hosts an abundance of precious marine resources and an array of fine beaches.
AUSMEPA is a not-for-profit supported by leading maritime companies, individuals and organisations. Funds raised are used to create no-cost, innovative and practical educational resources for schools, seafarers and other users of the marine environment.
At the forefront of tackling issues that directly affect Australia’s marine environment, AUSMEPA are partnering with maritime vetting specialists RightShip to develop a ‘port emissions portal’. This platform will provide transparent data on shipping emissions by monitoring the air quality and changing air patterns in port environs.
AUSMEPA is a founding member of the International Association of Marine Environment Protection Associations (INTERMEPA)
AUSMEPA Chairman, Captain Warwick Norman, was also elected as Chairman of INTERMEPA in June 2016.

For further information
Julie Nash - Executive Officer
0412 876 109  

Thursday, August 25, 2016

RUBBISH - if you see it pick it up!

What we do or don't do affects our oceans and not just during Seaweek.
Please watch this excellent clip by Josie Jones with a plea to pick up rubbish wherever we see it.

Sunday, August 14, 2016


Originally hosted by the Marine Education Society of Australasia (MESA), National Seaweek is an annual event to "Celebrate the Sea". With the passing of MESA the Australian Association of Environmental Educators (AAEE) has picked up the banner and is offering people the opportunity to run or participate in a variety of activities around the country. 

Many Australian marine educators, including the author of this article, assisted in developing the 7 Principles of Ocean Literacy [here]

Ocean Literacy means understanding the ocean’s influence on you and your influence on the ocean. The 7 principles of Ocean Literacy are ideas scientists and educators agree everyone should understand about the ocean.  

The AAEE Marine Group have chosen to theme the next 7 years of Seaweek to follow those principles.  

This year's theme is OL Principle One: 

Join in on the fun with AAEE

Thursday, July 28, 2016

What is pollution and how does it happen?

Pollution, it is a funny word. It is used so often these days however it is derived from the latin word pollutionem which means 'make dirty'.

That makes perfect sense when pollution can be defined as the presence in or introduction into the environment of a substance which has harmful or poisonous effects. Pollution makes the environment dirty.

Wait a minute. Who is making the environment dirty? Have a good look around you, and in the mirror too, because people are the biggest producers of pollution. Since almost all people live on the land it is logical and well documented that most pollution comes from the land.

Example: When we go to the store and buy a packaged item we don't call it pollution. It is only after we removed the item we want from the package that the packaging itself becomes waste matter. 

Packaging waste can become pollution when not disposed of properly. For instance have you noticed that there is often rubbish (pollution) outside take away food shops, the sides of roads, building sites or shopping centres? 

This visible pollution can be picked up in the wind and carried far away however, as with many kinds of pollution, the cleansing rains often pick it up and transport it down through drains to the rivers and streams to lakes, estuaries and eventually to the sea. 

Packaging waste that is recycled can find another life as a useful product and some innovators actually re-purpose waste into new things, like clothing, floor surfaces or furniture. We could call that sustainable solutions for waste. We need lots of people thinking about sustainable solutions to reduce pollution.

OK well how about another example, fuel. Although some of the processes used to make fuel can cause pollution, fuel isn't actually pollution when we put it into our fuel tanks. However once we have used it in our vehicle a few things happen. One is that chemical residues leave the car and go unseen up into the air creating air pollution. Some residues splash or drip from the exhaust pipe or engine right onto the road to become pollution. 

The chemicals in the air will eventually fall down onto the land or roofs or roads. These chemical residues get washed away in run-off from rainstorms sending poisons straight into the stormwater drains that lead to the sea. People are thinking about how to change this.

Although these are only a couple of examples of pollution, can we challenge you to think about all the things around you that will become waste and what life they may have as pollution afterwards? 

Every action that we make or take changes our environment. Is there a way that you might use your own actions to make things better? 

Could you find ways to use less packaging, recycle, re-purpose or or simply keep stormwater cleaner by keeping chemicals out of the drains?

Our oceans are a precious asset providing us with food, adventure, and much that is yet undiscovered. By being thoughtful about air and land pollution you can help keep our seas clean.

Learn more about Marine Stormwater Pollution here

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

FOR TEACHERS: The Coral Garden

A great accompaniment to the AUSMEPA unit of work on The Effect of Climate Change on Coral Bleaching here will be the clip below.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Bush Rangers WA cadets learning to care for the land to the sea

Western Australia is a big part of Australia and there are wonderful things to see, learn and do there. Parks and Wildlife WA have a Bush Rangers program that has a lot of territory to cover. Follow the links below to find out more about caring for the land from the catchment to the sea.
The Bush Rangers WA program could not operate without the commitment, support and passion of teachers, parents and other
The Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) protects and conserves the State’s natural environment on behalf of the people of Western Australia.