NSW Marine Parks Forum – my ocean journey as an NPA member

Nicole McMahon, NPA Member

It is an overwhelming experience when you begin your journey into becoming environmentally conscious. You discover the human impact on our environment is a polarising topic. So, for those wanting to make simple steps in the right direction, it can be difficult to gauge where to begin. I believe public forums, such as the NSW Marine Parks Forum, are a great place to start.

On July 1, I had the privilege of attending the NSW Marine Parks Forum, University of Technology Sydney, co-hosted by NPA NSW. The co-hosts included UTS’s School of Life Sciences, The Australian Marine Conservation Society, Nature Conservation Council of NSW, Ocean Youth, WWF-Australia and The Wilderness Society.

I heard from some incredible speakers making waves (pun intended) on our environment from Byron to Batemans Bay, as well as learning the shocking ways in which our Marine Parks are being impacted by higher officials neglecting, what is to many Australians, our backyard. I also learned that highly protected marine sanctuaries can thrive when they are supported by strong, connected communities like in Manly. 

Claimed goal of protecting 30% of Australia’s ocean has not been met

National Parks Association of NSW (NPA) fully supports a letter by a group of 23 prominent marine scientists who are concerned that the government is using ‘paper parks’, or partially protected areas, to claim they have reached the goal of 30% marine protection. 

NSW Marine Protected Areas: Our Underwater National Parks

Sharnie Connell, Senior Campaigns Officer, National Parks Association of NSW

Many people are unaware that marine protected areas exist, or how they work. As the saying goes out of sight, out of mind. The value of national parks on land seems obvious, we currently have around 9% conservation area in terrestrial NSW but only 6% sanctuary in our NSW state waters.

The lesser known but absolutely stunning Great Southern Reef

Sharnie Connell, Senior Campaigns Officer

NPA is pleased to announce our campaigns team will be spending more time on our less visible but no less important marine conservation issues. Just like our terrestrial environment, the unrelenting attacks on our underwater conservation networks are continuing. At this time, when we know we need to be protecting more of our natural world than ever before, the pressure to open up remaining pockets of sanctuary to allow them to be exploited has never been greater. 

NSW Government to decimate marine protected areas

The National Parks Association of NSW (NPA) has expressed outrage at the recent announcement by the NSW Minister for Agriculture, Adam Marshall that vital sanctuary zones in Batemans Marine Park, including iconic Montague Island will be scrapped.