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Year 13 Geography - Lyttletno Port Company Visit
Photo by CGHS Publication

Year 13 Geographers Making Connections with Plastic

Allan Meredith, HoD Geography —

The Year 13 Geography class visited Lyttleton Port which is New Zealand’s second biggest export hub and third largest port to compliment the topic they are studying on ocean plastic and to hear about the other environmental/engineering projects that have been going on there.

Students heard about the annual dredging of approximately 500,000 m3 of harbour sediment to maintain the 9km long, 200m wide and 14.5m deep channel for ships as well as about the recently opened 6-hectare land reclamation project and quarry rehabilitation. The visit finished with a talk about the research being done by ESR (Institute of Environmental Research) regarding the breakdown of microplastics in the ocean. One of the things the students most appreciated was seeing the range of careers that the study Geography can lead to.

We would like to thank Alistair Boyce – Head of Engineering, Projects & Asset Management (LPC) for coordinating the visit, Crystal Lenky – Environmental Advisor (LPC) and Kim Kelleher – Head of Environment and Sustainability (LPC) as well as Olga Pantos (ESR Research Scientist). Some may also recognise ex CGHS student Larissa Tucker who graduated in 2017 in the photo. Larissa is beginning her 4th year of study at Victoria University working towards a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Te reo Māori and Māori Resource Management. She was completing a 7 week internship with LPC as an environmental assistant working on sustainability, legal and resource management projects. 

Image by: Allan Meredith HoD Geography

On Thursday 25th February the class were fortunate to have Raquelle De Vine visit from Algalita South Pacific. Their work is based around research and education regarding marine plastic. Raquelle has previously done two expeditions into the plastic gyres of the Pacific Ocean and will embark on a third in April to investigate ocean plastic pollution between Auckland and Northland. She spoke about the causes of the oceans rubbish dumps as well as the economic and social impacts of marine plastic on countries, communities and individuals. This information will really help our students with their first assessment. 

In response to what we have been learning three students Danika Johns, Jade Lewington and Ashleigh Bond (pictured above with Raquelle) volunteered to go and collect the rubbish and plastic that had blown into the ponds and river around CGHS before it made its way to the coast. It is a good reminder for our school community to think about what we are consuming and where it is ending up.