New Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre to be launched
In a first for the region, a new education and research facility looking at the sustainable use and understanding of the local coastline and oceans will be launched 17 August 2007 at the University of Newcastle, Central Coast Campus.
The massive storms experienced in the region over the Queen's Birthday long weekend forced the launch of the Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre (CCMDC) to be postponed from its original date in June to 17 August.
The CCMDC will be a working research centre with strong links to the education, business and tourism sectors in the region.
Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Newcastle, Central Coast Campus, Professor Stephen Crump, said the CCMDC would generate greater awareness of the local marine and estuarine environments.
"The Centre will stimulate interest in issues relating to the long-term sustainability of our coastal environment, and will offer new environmental programs and interpretive facilities for local students," Professor Crump said.
"It's a significant boost for education, at both a secondary and tertiary level. It will eventually provide a unique field-study location and be of great benefit to students studying Marine Science and Sustainable Resource Management at the University.
"Research into the impact on fish stocks by sinking the HMAS Adelaide off the Central Coast is just one example of the work the centre will undertake.
"The CCMDC will be recognised as a Centre of Excellence in research and education in temperate environments and will draw significant research capacity to the Central Coast."
The launch of CCMDC coincides with World Ocean Day, and also involves the launch of the Friends of the Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre and a logo design competition.
A display of underwater photography, discussions about fishing on the Central Coast, and a display and demonstration of historical diving equipment will be features of the launch.
Dr Bill Gladstone from the University's Centre for Sustainable Use of Coasts and Catchments said the Central Coast was the ideal place to establish a marine discovery centre.
"Within a relatively small area the main marine and coastal ecosystems are all represented including beaches, rocky shores, sub-tidal rocky reefs, coastal lagoons, estuaries and the open coastline," Mr Asquith said.
"The easy access to each of these environments provides an outstanding opportunity to investigate these different, but linked, ecosystems."
The CCMDC is a partnership involving the University of Newcastle; federal, state and local government; local business and tourism operators; and environment networks.
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