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How to create a marine reserve…

"The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating;
The paths to it are not found but made;
The making of those pathways changes both the maker and the destination."

Marine Reserves can be created by everyday people. Many of New Zealand's marine reserves are the result of local people recognising the need for the protection of their marine environment and doing something about it.  First it starts with some inspiration,  a strong leader and a strong vision to work from.  Once you have a strong vision, anything is possible. 

An example of this is the Kamo High School proposal.  In 1990, seventh form (Year 13) Geography students from Kamo High School were learning about marine reserves with their teacher, Warren Farrelly.  The closest marine reserve to the school at that time was at Leigh, which was a two hour drive away. After becoming inspired by what they saw at Leigh, the students decided to propose a marine reserve in their very own Whangarei Harbour. 

So they got to work.  Every year, each new seventh form Geography class would pick up the proposal and advance it a step further until in 2005, it was submitted to the Department of Conservation for approval.  After a few tweaks and some more consultation, 2 areas within the Whangarei Harbour were declared as the Whangarei Harbour marine reserve in October 2006.


Where do I start??

If you've come to this section, you may have already been inspired and want to know where to start.  You could start by requesting a copy of the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust 'How to kit" CD at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) This campaign CD is an electronic toolbox that has been born out of the experience of running a marine reserve campaign.  Most of the people responsible for the toolbox were involved in the Kamo High School marine reserve campaign; some have been involved in several campaigns.
We believe that there is an urgent need to improve and streamline the process of creating an effective network of marine reserves for New Zealand. This resource aims to reduce the hard slog and confusion associated with the crucial jobs of information gathering, planning, consultation and proposal and application writing.
Why shouldn't we learn collectively from the experience of past marine reserve campaigns? Why shouldn't we make this accumulated knowledge available to all communities? That is our goal and vision.

HEALTH WARNING: Marine reserves are addictive and can affect your health.  People who have them do not want to give them up.  They start clamoring for more.  The side effects are serious.  People infected with the idea become interested, enthusiastic, active, knowledgeable, healthy and impatient with silly arguments and no-hopers.  They start talking about "10% of everything" and "We want them now".  In the end they become determined, convincing and unstoppable.  This process has already started.
Ballantine, 1991.  Marine Reserves for New Zealand.

The Statutory Process For Creating A Marine Reserve
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