Night of the Notables
Night of the notables is run by a local school and year six students are asked to select someone that has done something inspiring and make a presentation about that person to teach others about what that person has done. I love this form of kids teaching kids. Parents, family members and friends of students were also invited to the night. I went along on the night and saw some great projects. Students had done projects on Julia Gillard, Barack Obama, Nancy Bird, Madonna, Soldiers, sport stars, Ghandi etc.
The reason I was there was because a student by the name of Bianca Jones did her project on me. What can I say she did an amazing job and I was truly honoured that she chose to do her project about me. I had lent her one of my Climate Girl t-shirts and she looked so cute. She had made a time line about my life and was able to answer some tough questions about me.
Thanks Bianca for a great night and I know you to will inspire other young people as you get older, you are amazing!
Congrats to Bianca’s teachers they are pretty special and I love visiting Bianca’s school so I hope to see you all again soon.
Our oceans, seas and marine life are facing huge environmental issues from climate change, ocean acidification, pollution especially plastics, over fishing and diseases.
One of my favourite marine animals is the turtle. There are many varieties of sea turtles and they can be found throughout different waters around the world. Turtles often get tangled in disused fishing lines, shark nets and plastics causing them to perish from drowning or getting infections from cuts made by the things they get tangled up in. Turtles are now also facing another problem and that is a deadly virus.
Researchers have found a virus called fibropapilloma (FP) which is a debilitating disease caused by a herpes virus affecting turtles. The turtles that become infected with the virus get tumours. These tumours can affect their internal organs and their vision which makes it difficult for them to feed and to avoid being attacked by predators. There is a high incidence of infection in turtles in north QLD and scientists are working hard to try and find the cause of the virus but not enough is known as yet.
Turtles and dugongs are rally under pressure in north QLD because of chemicals that have ended up in the ocean. After the floods in QLD in the summer of 2010/2011 a lot of chemical used in different types of farming were washed into the ocean and these chemicals have killed off a lot of sea grass that the turtles and Dugongs eat so the result is that a lot of them are malnourished and a lot of them have died from starvation.
The biggest threat to turtles and in particular the Green Turtle is climate change.
The green turtle is in danger of becoming extinct because the sand where they lay their eggs is too warm. The warming of the sand is caused by an increase in temperature due to climate change. The temperature of the sand where the eggs are laid determines the sex of the turtles born. The hotter the sand is means more females are born. If only females are being born there is no chance for the species to continue and scientist predict that by
2070 the population of Green Turtles will be all female.
How can we help turtles and other marine animals? We need to reduce consumption to avoid waste ending up in our water ways, we need to support sustainable fishing, we need to become more educated on how to reduce our own individual footprint on the planet to ensure our natural world has opportunities to thrive for the sake of the planet, for my generation and for future generations.
For photos have a look in my image gallery!
At the end of 2011 I spent two weeks in Indonesia. The first week I was in Bandung, Java attending an international children and youth conference on the environment.
After the conference I travelled to Bali to do a bit of surfing and to visit the Bali Turtle Conservation and Education Centre. I went there to do some research and take some footage to make a little doco about turtles. I saw a beautiful turtle that was being nursed back to health after eating plastic. I was invited to hand feed some turtles in a large pool which was great and then I was invited to release some smaller turtles that had been hand reared at the centre out in the ocean. This was pretty special! They were only little but I released back into the ocean where there are lots of turtles and near a safe cove where turtles go to nest. The water so was clear and it was a nice sunny day, just perfect.
I also met some local surfers who have been rescuing baby turtles from fishermen and looking after them until they grew a bit bigger and then they release them back into the ocean as well. These local surfers then took me for a surf off Hyatt Reef in Sanur. It was my first time travelling out in a boat to surf so far away from the shore. It was totally awesome. The waves were big, powerful and just peeling off nicely. The best part as I was paddling around a huge turtle swam up alongside me and just popped its head up out of the water as if to say hi – it was so cool.
To see some photos check out the Bali Turtles folder in my image gallery!