2013 saw major developments and unprecedented results for our charity. Not only did we continue with our proven educational presentations, riparian planting projects and beach clean-ups, but we launched our Presenter Training programme to hand on these skills to others and worked tirelessly to develop a system to evaluate how our work positively changes behaviour, reducing marine litter in the long-term.
We expanded our team, taking on the fantastic Emma and Natalia to raise funds and develop systems to help our projects run smoothly. Four hardworking interns – Jo, Lesley, Saskia and Racquel – also joined our crew, putting in countless hours towards the cause. This additional support truly extended our ability to deliver projects and spread our educational message far and wide.
With the highs came the lows: thieves stole our charity vehicle in August. But we bounced back, topping the year off with our largest event yet: 5,132 people cleaned-up during our Love your Coast Wellington project and 8,875 received presentations. With significant results on the national and international stage, an increased capacity to deliver projects and an unwavering focus on prevention as the core solution to the problem, we’re achieving more than ever for the coastlines we all love. Bring on 2014.
We believe that education is the best solution: the fence at the top of the cliff. We delivered our message on the effects of litter in the marine environment to tens of thousands of school students, businesses and community groups around New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. With our popular Education Station mobile classroom we brought immersive educational experiences to schools, attendees of our Seaweek at Silo Park event series, popular workshops on the Auckland waterfront, the Taranaki Surf Festival, the Go Green Expo and the Sustainable City Showcase.
We need more people to help us spread the message, so this year we launched our Love your Coast Presenter Training programme, holding workshops in Wellington, Auckland and Papua New Guinea to teach skills on how to impart important knowledge on the effects of rubbish on our marine environment. This programme will be extended greatly in 2014, with a nationwide training tour scheduled from July to September.
Continuing on from our work in 2012 to evaluate our educational programmes, this year we completed a framework that aims to conclusively prove positive behavioural change resulting from our educational work. It is now ready for a detailed pilot study in 2014 and we can’t wait to see the results.
Last year we gave thousands the opportunity to get involved in clean-ups and tree planting activities. 2013 saw strong support from businesses too, with dozens of organisations pitching-in, including Meridian Energy, Mercedes Benz and Air New Zealand, whose staff joined us for several events. Alongside the award-winning light festival ‘Art in the Dark’, we picked-up plastics from Auckland’s Rangitoto Island with local school students, who then worked with artist Alexander Bartleet to create an epic artwork for the event.
We were humbled to again be invited as a guest of Hawaiian music legend Jack Johnson: running a clean-up of Auckland’s Piha and spreading our message at his concerts. We coordinated over 120 cumulative days of manpower with Department of Corrections workers to clear weeds in Raglan, before planting 720 native trees with Raglan Area School and several awesome organisations to improve water quality in Whaingaroa Harbour. Waterway plantings are a highly effective way to look after our coasts and connect actions on land to impacts at sea, and will be a big focus for 2014 with the launch of our ‘Love your Water’ program.
2013 also saw our collaboration with Pacific Island athletes as ambassadors gather even further momentum, with clean-up, education and capacity-building programs in Wallis and Futuna and Papua New Guinea. Our Pacific projects – which are in high demand across the region – have been funded and made possible through a partnership with the International Olympic Committee and are set to grow in scope in the near future.
Media and Awards
During 2013 we worked hard alongside the media to raise widespread awareness of the issues affecting our coastlines. With multiple appearances on television, numerous radio interviews and a huge number of print and online articles around the country, we reached massive and diverse audiences to bring attention to the issues affecting our coastlines. We also worked with outdoor media providers Adshel and Phantom Billstickers to bring awareness campaigns to our streets.
For the fourth consecutive year we were nominated for an award in the ‘Protecting our coasts and oceans’ category at the Ministry for the Environment Green Ribbon Awards: this time taking out not only the category but also winning the Supreme Award, the Ministry’s highest accolade. In March our Co-Founder Sam Judd was recognised as the Young New Zealander of the Year, received a travel award from the United Nations Environment Program to present at a conference in Jamaica and in November was named the Sustainable Business Network Sustainability Champion for his work for the cause.
On top of all this, our efforts were recognised internationally when in November two of our team made the mammoth journey to Sochi, Russia to accept a significant award from the International Olympic Committee. The Oceania Sport and the Environment Award – a major continental award – was presented to us alongside the Papua New Guinea Olympic Committee for our collaboration last year developing the Love your Coast Papua New Guinea program.
Sponsors and Supporters
Our sincerest thanks go out to our print partner Benefitz for their significant and ongoing in-kind support, without which we simply would not be able to operate as we do. This year we proudly welcomed on board new supporters: Gold Sponsors Keen Footwear New Zealand and Eye Specialists Day Surgery and Silver Sponsors Eighthirty Coffee. Kia ora and welcome to the team!
Thanks to all of our sponsors, donees, grant-givers and others who have supported us and enabled our team to do their jobs as effectively and efficiently as possible. Thank you to those who attended our September fundraising ball (especially Murry and Jodi Sweetpants) and who bid on our auction items. Together you helped us raise over $27,000 for the cause! A special mention goes to the humble hero who simply wants to be known as ‘Dave’ that came to the rescue when our charity truck was stolen. You are a legend.
Last but certainly not least, thank you to all of those who turned-up to our events, the thousands who read our messages, followed our movements on social media and sent us letters, cards and emails in support of our work: your feedback truly motivates our team to keep doing what we do.