2012 was a year of major milestones. We delivered educational presentations to more people, involved more volunteers in beach clean-ups and planted more trees than ever before. We also recorded our largest event yet, with over 3,000 people involved in clean-ups during our Love your Coast Wellington project.
Early in the year we added two permanent members to the team. Chris Cochrane, Manager of Creative Projects, joined our crew in January, as did the Education Station, our modified shipping container that serves as a mobile classroom. These new recruits greatly extended our ability to deliver creative projects and spread our educational message far and wide.
Our charity has put huge effort into developing our educational offering: reaching out to more schools, delivering better awareness messages and improving our education tools to affect positive behavioural change. With more research, greater experience from previous years and an increasing focus in education, we are working harder than ever to look after the coastlines we all love. 2012 was a great year and 2013 promises to be even better.
This year our team coordinated five major educational tours, spreading our message raising awareness about litter in the marine environment to more schools than any previous year. We invited all schools from the Coromandel Peninsula, Auckland’s North Shore, Whangarei, greater Wellington region and again across the Auckland region to take part, with huge success.
With our new Education Station we were able to bring a completely immersive educational experience to a number of schools, with fantastic feedback from teachers and students. We launched a series of practical educational workshops on Auckland’s Waterfront and used it as an open-to-the-public display space at Auckland Zoo during conservation week and on Wellington’s Waterfront in November/December.
This year we also started to gauge the effectiveness of our educational work thanks to a survey designed by psychologists. The data collected through these surveys allows us to continually improve our work, as well as providing strong feedback on behavioural intentions and retention of the message following our visits. This feedback will be a crucial step in expanding our educational offering through our soon-to-be-launched Presenter Training program.
In a year that included our largest ever numbers for volunteer participation in clean-ups, events were a big focus. Involvement in beach clean-ups is hands-on education. Clean-ups were held around the Coromandel Peninsula, across Auckland’s North Shore, on the islands of the Hauraki Gulf and all around the Wellington region. Volunteers even braved the wild weather in mid-September to take part in our West Coast Clean-up on International Coastal Clean-up Day. We also planted thousands of native trees alongside waterways: a growing focus for our charity and a great way to connect actions on land to effects at sea.
Corporates did their bit too, with dozens of organisations around New Zealand and the Pacific getting involved with our work not only for the good of the environment, but for the good of their staff too: clean-ups are great team-building exercises. For the second year running we accompanied the New Zealand Longboard Surf Tour, running clean-ups in all five tour locations.
Our efforts on international projects ramped-up in 2012, with clean-up and education tours held in Vanuatu, Rarotonga and Papua New Guinea. These ‘Love your Coast’ tours not only spread the awareness message and cleaned-up beaches, but also focused on handing over skills to local leaders to continue this work in our absence.
Media and Awards
We raised widespread awareness of the issues affecting our coastlines during 2012, with some astounding results. With appearances on television in Vanuatu, Rarotonga and Papua New Guinea, over a dozen radio interviews around New Zealand and myriad print and online articles over the course of the year, we have been able to reach huge audiences to promote our work and bring attention to the issue we work to solve.
Of particular note, Sustainable Coastlines partnered with Herald on Sunday to create Beach Busters: an 11-week print and online campaign aimed at exposing both the problem and the positive actions that Sustainable Coastlines is taking to address it. For the third year running we teamed-up with outdoor media providers Adshel to bring a huge public awareness campaign to New Zealand’s streets.
Also for the third year in a row, we were contenders for an award in the ‘Protecting our coasts and oceans’ category at the Ministry for the Environment Green Ribbon Awards: this year making it to finalist stage. On top of this our efforts were recognised with a Commendation in the Community category of the Auckland Council Sustainable Environment Awards 2012 and our Co-Founder Sam Judd was awarded an AMP National Scholarship for his work for the cause.
Our sincerest thanks go out to our partners Lantern Insurance and Benefitz for providing significant contributions of financial and in-kind support, without which we simply would not be able to operate. A special mention also goes to Container Sales and Leasing, who have made the dream of our Education Station a reality and been fantastic to work with.
Heartfelt thanks also go out to our sponsors, donees, grant-givers and all others who have supported us and enabled our team to do their jobs as effectively and efficiently as possible. Your support means a lot and we look forward to your continued involvement in years to come.
Finally, thank you to all of those who turned-up to our events, the thousands who follow our movements online and through the media, and the constant positive responses we receive for our actions: your feedback keeps us doing what we do.