The Port of Cork has today launched the theme of their 2020 Primary Schools Initiative which is aimed at 5th Classes from Cork City and County. Themed ‘Cork Harbour and the importance of our marine eco-system’, this year’s theme will highlight to participating classes the importance of the marine eco-system. Marine ecosystems provide many resources that are beneficial to society and a significant proportion of the world’s population depends intimately on the oceans and coasts for survival and well-being. Children are encouraged to map out their local area and show how important marine wildlife is to them and to investigate the beach or river in their local area and explain what species there are and what role they play in biodiversity.
This year the Port of Cork will collaborate with Cork Nature Network to roll out this initiative. Cork Nature Network work in partnership with local and national organisations and are particularly involved with primary schools and as well as working to educate and increase awareness of the need for conservation, they run projects, surveys and undertake research into wildlife conservation.
Brendan Keating, CEO of the Port of Cork said: ‘We have been running this initiative for over 13 years now and each year it grows with more and more primary schools taking part. By the end of the initiative we will have visited 30 schools and hopefully taken over 600 school children on a boat trip around Cork Harbour. We see it as a big opportunity not only to educate school children about marine eco-systems jointly with Cork Nature Network, but also to highlight and promote Cork Harbour.’
Gill Weyman, Chair of Cork Nature Network said: ‘We are delighted to be part of this important initiative. Encouraging children to learn about the marine environment and promoting its conservation are at the heart of our work. We believe that the education of future generations is essential for the long-term protection of our marine environment.’
This initiative is open to 5th class only and all projects submitted will go on public display during Seafest and Cork Harbour Festival in Cork City from 15th – 24th May 2020.
Children are encouraged to undertake a project which should contain a high level of visual content and should really use materials found on the beach or near rivers to highlight the theme. Projects can be displayed in 3D form on a base or as a standalone piece.
All 5th classes who take part in the Port of Cork Schools Initiative will be treated to a boat trip around Cork harbour, compliments of the Port of Cork and each class will also receive a certificate of participation. The overall ‘Best Project’ will receive a tour on board one of the many luxurious cruise liners visiting Cork during the summer of 2020.