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Young explorers field trip

On 6th June 2024 we welcomed 21 Grade 1 and 2 children from Willow's Elementary School for an ocean exploration and citizen science day with FREERANGER at Oak Bay Marina.

In the morning the class learned about nautical letter flags which used in maritime communication to represent individual letters of the alphabet. Each flag has a unique design, allowing sailors to send messages and signals across distances, enhancing safety and coordination at sea.

The kids practised spelling their names with the flag letters!

We chose to keep FREERANGER at Oak Bay Marina, in part, because it is a recognised "Clean Marina".

This certification highlights its commitment to environmental stewardship. This designation is part of a broader Clean Marina Program aimed at reducing pollution and promoting sustainable practices in marinas and boating facilities.

Key aspects of a clean marina include:

  1. Pollution Prevention: Implementing measures to prevent contaminants like oil, fuel, and sewage from entering the water. This often involves the use of spill prevention kits, regular maintenance of boats and equipment, and educating boaters on best practices.

  2. Waste Management: Proper disposal and recycling of waste materials, including hazardous substances. Marinas provide designated areas for waste collection and recycling to minimize environmental impact.

  3. Water Quality: Regular monitoring and maintenance of water quality to ensure a healthy marine environment. This can include measures like installing bilge water filtration systems and encouraging the use of eco-friendly cleaning products.

  4. Habitat Protection: Efforts to protect and preserve the natural habitat around the marina. This can involve creating buffer zones, protecting local wildlife, and promoting the use of native plants in landscaping.

  5. Education and Outreach: Providing information and resources to boaters and the community about sustainable boating practices and environmental conservation. This includes workshops, informational signage, and collaboration with local environmental organisations.

  6. Facility Management: Ensuring that all marina facilities are designed and operated in an eco-friendly manner. This includes using energy-efficient lighting, maintaining clean and safe docks, and implementing water conservation measures.

We took the kids down to the docks where we'd set up a station where we investigated marine life with nets and buckets.

The kids learned all about the marina's "sea bin" - an innovative device designed to help clean up marine environments by collecting floating debris, microplastics, and oil from the water's surface.

We watched all kinds of debris being collected in this awesome floating garbage bin!

Later, the kids took a tour of FREERANGER and we used a scavenger hunt activity to talk about clean energy, water use and responsible cruising and shoreside lifestyles.

A great day all round!

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