Over 700 students from Dunsborough Primary School descended on Geographe Bay for the annual Bay OK Day. Staff from GeoCatch were on hand to help students better understand the importance of looking after Geographe Bay and the surrounding environment. Excited students started the day walking from the school to the Old Dunsborough boat ramp to take part in environmental-themed educational activities.
Now in its 10th year, Bay OK Day helps local students and families better understand the importance of Geographe Bay to our community and gives them the skills and knowledge to look after our natural environment. Over this time, more than 7000 students have participated in the program.
Dunsborough Primary teacher Helena Nicholson celebrated ten years delivering the event, having been involved since its inception in 2012. Jen Mitchell, from GeoCatch, was presented with a 10-year participation award as one of the event’s founders. Jen explained the importance of involving primary school children in environmental programs.
“Living in the South West, Geographe Bay is such an integral part of our lives. Children learn to swim here, families have been fishing here for generations, and the Noongar People continue to care for this area after thousands of years. These children will be the next generation of caretakers here,” said Jen.
Activities run by GeoCatch throughout the day included analysing sea-life samples up close using microscopes, playing the interactive and highly animated “stormwater game,” and using a 3-dimensional model of the catchment that allows students to simulate pollution and runoff into our river systems. Crowd favourites Captain Coast Care and Dune Dude entertained the students all day with their antics and environmental messages, courtesy of South West Catchments Council.
Bay OK Day would not be possible without the fantastic support of teachers and parents, and a host of organisations who delivered sessions on the day, including Josh Whiteland from Koomal Dreaming, FAWNA, the City of Busselton, the South West Wildflower Society, South West Catchments Council, Department of Transport, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Meelup Regional Park Council, Smith Beach Sirf Life Saving Club, Dunsborough Coast and Land Care, FishAbility, Busselton Jetty and Underwater Observatory, Capes Bird Group, Tangaroa Blue, and Department of Primary industries and Regional Development- Fisheries.
Projects are delivered by GeoCatch, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, in partnership with South West Catchments Council and state government-funded Healthy Estuaries WA and Revitalising Geographe Waterways programs. These State Government initiatives aim to support the long-term health of our south-west waterways.