PHOTOS: “What’s Under the Wharf” at Narooma

A SERIES of nature talks, walks and swims has local residents of all ages finding out more about the Narooma area marine environment.

For two hours last Wednesday morning, the Narooma wharf became a busy focus for learning and excitement as children and adults discovered “What’s Under the Wharf”, an event jointly presented by the Batemans Marine Park, the Eurobodalla Shire Council and the Nature Coast Marine Group.

The event was aimed at informing tourists and locals alike about the weird and wonderful creatures that live just below the feet of those walking on the wharf and encouraging an awareness of the need for conservation.

Council representatives are also keen to go the message across that anything that goes down the town's storm drains ends up straight in the ocean, hence the need to be neat and tidy on your own property and on the streets at all times.

In just minutes, marine group divers and snorkelers were able to bring to the surface an amazing range of marine critters, including two octopuses, a seahorse, large sea stars, sea urchins, brittle stars, worms of various kinds, a box fish, a nudibranch and many more.

The animals were displayed in seawater tanks for visitors to see and even touch where appropriate.

On hand was a big team of guides from the Marine Park, the Nature Coast Marine Group and council to tell people something of the life histories of these fascinating creatures.

Many of the visitors had never had a chance to see marine animals at close hand – the many children there were brimming over with excitement and camera shutters clicked frantically.

Visitors were unanimous in their appreciation of the event and many urged organisers to repeat it.

Nature Coast Marine Group president Jenny Edwards said that presenting an event such as this jointly with the Marine Park and Council enabled the combined strengths of the three organisations to work together for a better visitor experience.

“Last week’s event was something of a trial run. It has turned out to be very successful and all three organisations hope it will be possible to do ‘What’s under the Wharf’ again as well as to repeat other marine-themed events such as rock shelf walks, beachcombing and estuary walks”.

Other activities this week included a Dalmeny beach walk on Monday while today, Wednesday, January 15, at 2pm there will be a rock walk at Narooma, and contact Justin Gilligan on 0414 236 759.

Member for Bega, Andrew Constance encouraged everyone to take advantage of the free activities.

“The Narooma wharf has a rich marine life including sea squirts, octopus, sea stars, urchins and hidden fish,” Mr Constance said.

“We are lucky to have volunteers from the Nature Coast Marine Group who are eager to show locals and visitors the amazing aquatic life we have on offer.”

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