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Marine Biologist for a Day

About The Program

This activity invites you to become a marine biologist for a day! Help the Baykeeper collect data that contribute to healthier waterways and habitats for our unique biodiversity.

You will be doing a combination of the below activities:

The breakwater at the end of St Kilda Pier is home to a colony of around 1500 Little Penguins. By reversing the effects of erosion through adding soil, rocks and vegetation, volunteers will help improve penguin habitat, protect their nests and create a suitable home for other seabird species too. Volunteers are likely to spot a penguin or two. You’ll also help the Baykeeper collect data that contributes to healthier waterways and habitats for our unique biodiversity.

You’ll be doing a combination of the below activities:

  • Penguin Habitat Restoration

Help the penguins by transporting beach sand and seaweed from the beach to the breakwater. On the breakwater, you will mix the sand and seaweed into a nutrient-rich mix, which will be used as a preparation for planting indigenous plants.

  • Shoreline Shell Survey

Collect shells on the beach, identify them, record their characteristics and learn about the important role of molluscs (shellfish) in the Bay ecosystem. The data collected will be used to record long‑term changes in population, species diversity, climate change and water quality.

  • Shellfish Safari

Catch and dig for live molluscs (shellfish) for identification, measurement and counting. The results of this research are used to record population changes over time and to potentially show a link between mollusc species present and predation by the invasive Northern Pacific Sea Star.

  • Beach Clean Up & Litter Audit

Did you know that cigarette butts are the number 1 litter item found on our beaches? And that plastic makes up most of the rogue rubbish in our waterways? With your help the EcoCentre researches litter washed up on the Bay’s beaches. As litter is a major cause of death for our resident wildlife (like sea birds, dolphins and seals) it is imperative that we research ways to reduce it. You will help us provide solid evidence to inform litter strategies.

Help the penguins by transporting beach sand and seaweed from the beach to the breakwater. On the breakwater, you will mix the sand and seaweed into a nutrient-rich mix, which will be used as a preparation for planting indigenous plants.

Location:

St Kilda beaches

Availability:

Year-round

Group Size:

Up to 15

Length:

Half day or full day options available

Cost:

Full day: $2200 + GST

Program Themes:

beach, clean-up, litter, wildlife, ocean, bay, citizen science, nature

Morning tea and lunch are not included. There will be lunch options available at each site (cafés), or volunteers can bring their own.

The exact schedule depends on the activity, weather, tides and the preferences of the volunteers. We are happy to tailor it to your needs.

The cost per session includes: The services of knowledgeable, First Aid trained staff members, all preparation, materials and equipment for the number of volunteers per activity, and liability and personal accident insurance for all volunteers. Costs of the activities are based on our staff costs and the costs of running the day. This means that it is up to the client to make sure the maximum number of volunteer spots is filled.

“It was a great way to spend the day with colleagues and learn something different. I came away with some good tips and knowledge around how I can individually make a positive change on our environment.”

Yuki, Corporate Volunteer from NAB

The EcoCentre acknowledges the Kulin Nations, including the Yalukut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung language group, traditional owners of the land on which we are located.

We pay respects to their Elders past and present, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Elder members of our multicultural community.