Trust Programmes

Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR)

The Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) programme empowers schools and communities by providing hands-on experience in the ocean.

EMR.jpegThe programme involves investigating marine biodiversity and the local marine environment before venturing into a fully-protected marine reserve. After this experience, students are able to compare unprotected and protected areas, and are encouraged to put their knowledge into action within the community.

The programme promotes environmental education, and builds the capacity to enhance awareness and understanding of marine conservation issues in New Zealand. It also provides opportunities for community development and inspires action for the marine environment.

Visit the EMR website




Whitebait Connection (WBC)


The Whitebait Connection is an action based environmental education programme offering concrete and specific ways in which all New Zealanders can come to understand and become involved in the future health of our local streams and rivers.

WBC.jpgThis programme aims to inspire and educate schools, community groups and tangata whenua how to restore and take care of the life-sustaining force of their local streams and catchments.

Coordinators work with schools to help plan and integrate the programme into the curriculum. They then take the class on an in-stream workshop. Participating schools  also learn about freshwater bugs, freshwater fish and the ocean food chain as a whole.

Visit the Whitebait Connection website


Whangarei Drains-to-Harbour stormwater programme for schools

Because the EMR programme is most active in Northland during the summer, it was considered a natural progression for its coordinators to move into stormwater issues during the winter.  EMR looks forward to continuing the delivery of the DTH programme in Whangarei under the auspices of the Mountains to Sea conservation Trust, and offering assistance to other regions that wish to use the resources that EMR has developed with the Whangarei District Council (WDC).

drain stencil








The programme involves the provision of a coordinator, who delivers a classroom workshop on local stormwater issues, and a field trip to a local stream to find out more about where stormwater ends up, the health of their local fresh waterway what lives in fresh waterways.  The coordinator then takes students out into the community where they stencil the ‘Drains-to-Harbour – Rainwater Only’ message near stormwater drains to spread the word.

The programme aims to raise community awareness around the connection between our drains and our waterways and what we can all do to minimise stormwater pollution.

To register your schools interest, please contact Kim Boyle (the DTH coordinator) at or phone her on 027 243 4818.




Mangrove Discovery Programme for schools


Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) designed a Mangrove Discovery Programme (MDP) in 2006 to compliment the new Whangarei Harbour Marine Reserve site at Waikaraka.  The pilot was delivered to Whangarei Heads School who helped EMR to design a care code for the Waikaraka marine reserve based on what they found out about it during their study.  The care code was made available to anyone else who wished to utilise the reserve for study.  The pilot was successful, so the Department of Conservation (Whangarei Area Office) funded another programme in 2007.  This second programme was delivered to Raurimu Avenue School.  The programme and its resources have proven successful once more and is a great marine education programe that EMR can offer to Whangarei schools alongside its ‘Drains to Harbour’ (DTH) stormwater programme and the ‘Experiencing Marine Reserves’ programme.

The programme involves the provision of resources and a coordinator for schools wanting to know more about mangroves in their local area.  The coordintor delivers a classroom workshop about mangroves before taking the students out to experience the mangrove environment first hand both in and out of the water.  Students are then encouraged to get involved in mangrove conservation in their local area.

To register your schools interest please contact Kim Boyle at or phone her on 027 243 4818.


Kids in the mangroves Waimahanga