PHOTO: AMLR Parks and Wildlife Manager Richard de Groot and Natural Resources AMLR Volunteer Support Coordinator Rachel Godoy make an urgent soup run to Granite Island to warm up the hard working volunteers.
Encounter Marine Park didn’t disappoint the hundreds of local and international tourists, volunteers and staff involved in more than 20 Park of the Month events throughout August, with whale season giving everyone something to spout on about.
Rangers were on hand at Basham Beach to chat to the public about the whales they were watching. Meanwhile, a pop-up day at Middleton allowed rangers to share their amazing knowledge of this spectacular marine park and its inhabitants, with more than 150 local and international tourists keen to know more. The whales even ‘popped-up’ to attend too.
Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges (AMLR) Volunteer Support Officer Rachel Godoy said even wild weather one day couldn’t put a dampener on the 35 enthusiastic volunteers who attended the Friends of Granite Island planting day and managed to get nearly 600 plants in the ground.
Strong winds meant no vehicles could cross the causeway, but that didn’t stop Natural Resources AMLR staff, rangers and volunteers from wheelbarrowing all the equipment – and some very welcome warm soup – to the planting site.
As part of the marine park celebrations, the South Australian Whale Centre at Victor Harbor hosted whale-focused events, including Whale Discovery Days and The Science Behind Southern Right Whales, attracting more than 400 people.
The Sea Shepherd Marine Debris Team also hosted a clean-up at Port Noarlunga, and in just two hours, participants collected 3815 pieces of debris, including 1060 cigarette butts.
Ms Godoy said that so far this season, two southern right whale calves have been born in Encounter Bay.
“Like Park of the Month participants, reports are that they are having a ‘whaley’ good time!”
To find out about joining Friends of Granite Island, contact the Victor Harbor office of Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges on 8552 0300.