In 2017/18 the Northern Sydney Environmental Educators Network are undertaking a collaborative best practice sustainability education and engagement project 'Microplastics Surveys- engaging Northern Sydneysiders through science and action'. (Read project case study here).
This project is supported by AAEE NSW through their regional capacity building project and the NSW Government's Environmental Trust.
Microplastics Surveys – Engaging Northern Sydneysiders through science and action
This project will train environmental educators from across Australia on how to run community-based microplastic surveys of beaches and rivers.
This project will utilise a widely-accepted scientific methodology for surveying microplastics and create a training manual for community members to complete regular surveys. Northern Sydney environmental educators from Councils and environmental education groups will receive face-to- face training on how to use the manual and undertake their own surveys with school and community groups.
An immediate environmental outcome of each survey will be that litter at each beach or river will be collected, leaving each site free of macroplastics and other pollution. An important educational component of the surveys is that students and community groups will be empowered to change their own consumer behaviours and encouraged to pledge to live a life with less plastic.
This is a collaborative project involving Brewongle Environmental Education Centre, the Australian Marine Educators Network, the Northern Sydney Environmental Education Network (NSEEN), NSW Environmental Education Centres, Macquarie University, Take 3 and the Australian Association for Environmental Education. This project has been supported by the NSW Government through its Environmental Trust.
An important component of this project is that all data will be sent to the Australian Marine Debris Initiative database. The collation of this data will allow for ongoing monitoring of a range of sites and will potentially assist in identifying sources of microplastic pollution.
This project is contributing the first exemplar of professional development for a much larger micro- plastic citizen science project to run nationally. The project called AUSMAP is coordinated through the Total Environment Centre and has funding from Coca Cola. It involves a wide group of partners from schools to NGOs and three universities so far. Two of the NSEEN team joined in the strategic planning of this project end of 2017, where the scientific basis and method for investigating micro-plastics was developed. A Macquarie University scientist who is researching microplastics has contributed the method which will be applied nationally and Macquarie University will contribute to evaluate the face-to-face training, which may become a proforma for evaluating other professional development workshops.
About our network
Northern Sydney Environmental Educators Network (NSEEN) is for sustainability educators from Northern Sydney which is geographically bounded by Sydney Harbour to Broken Bay and westward to Ryde.
Sustainability educators/facilitators representative from all sectors are welcome to apply to become members of NSEEN.
Working together and communicating regularly on projects whilst supporting each other and encouraging best practice sustainability education and engagement.
Read our NSEEN Strategic Plan 2017-2020.