Local marine sanctuary loved and ignored in equal measure
This is a great recent video from the Friends of the Merri Marine Sanctuary, a small and dedicated group helping – as one goal – to remind local people about the amazing natural features and marine life on their doorstep.
At a lecture and networking day on the weekend hosted by Deakin University and the Victorian National Parks Association, a member of the Friends group mentioned how hard it can be to get the support and interest of people outside the conservation community. I could see similar parallels with another spectacular occurrence that Warrnambool people often ignore.
Living near one of the calving grounds for southern right and humpback whales, people in this area can tend to be ambivalent about the excitement generated in the tourism industry each time the whale watching season approaches.
A recent humorous list of 30 things only a local would understand had this gem at number 23:
Funny (maybe just as a Warrnambool local) but it highlights that disinterest I spoke of – we’re happy the whales are here but we’re just as happy to ignore them because it doesn’t suit us to stand around for hours (and it can be hours between ‘showings’). Same goes for conservation – local people are generally happy that someone is doing it but not bothered to get involved themselves.
What can you do with apathy like that? It was an open question to the weekend’s session and though there were some good suggestions, as usual it was hard to come up with the perfect answer. My idea was to keep the good work these people do at the forefront, tell the media, tell politicians, help to get relevant policy change at the state and federal level and let your own passion inspire other people. Al Gore was one who helped ‘cure’ apathy over climate change on a global level but it’s even more important to make small communities like ours care about the natural wonders they take for granted.
Posted on June 22, 2014, in activism, conservation, fun, Great Ocean Road, tourism, Victoria, Warrnambool and tagged Australia, conservation, oceans, sea life, victoria, Warrnambool, whales. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.