A Day Out at The Spit
Inforum Students investigate the impact of the proposed Cruise Ship Terminal Development as part of Inforum’s Presentation Program
Intermediate Students with George and Jeremy
A warm sun greeted us as we stepped out of Inforum to start the day,
in spite of forecasts to the contrary. Our group, of 22 students and 2 teachers,
caught the Sea World bus to The Spit, which, surprisingly, arrived on schedule.
An elderly gentleman at the bus stop enquired if the students were all from
the same country. He was informed that there were a mix of nationalities
including Japanese, Korean, Czech, Brazilian and Taiwanese.
We got off the bus at the Sea World stop and crossed the road where we were
greeted by Dereka Ogden, the Education Officer from GECKO. Dereka was our information guru
for the trip, and she supplied us with facts about the environmental impact of the proposed
Cruise Ship Terminal which ASF Consortium wants to build on Wave Break Island.
Our group commenced walking along the sandy trail known as Heritage Walk,
which meanders through the bushland along The Spit, making our way to the
Seaway where The Spit is separated from South Stradbroke Island. Along the way
we identified beautiful native trees, shrubs and grasses which house an abundant
array of native wildlife. Except for the occasional darting of shy birds and
the fluttering of delicate butterflies, the animals were mostly unseen,
but not unheard. Various melodies of singing birds were constantly echoing
near and far. An intermittent rustling in the tall grass that bordered
the bush path could have belonged to any number of crawling or slithering creatures.
Dereka explained the significance of the dunes, back dunes and wetlands,
and she pointed out the plants which bind the sand and allow a bio-diverse
ecosystem to flourish.
From there, we continued on our way to the Seaway, detouring once to look at
a large pipeline which transports sand from the ocean to a sand dump behind
a pumping station.
We learned about what would happen to Wave Break Island, and the surrounding environment
if the development was approved. We visited the lagoon at the Spit which is home to
thousands of soldier crabs. We learned that the Broadwater itself is home to numerous
aquatic animals including stingrays, fish, dugongs, sea turtles and dolphins.
We also found out about the beautiful migratory birds which use Wave Break Island
as a refuge. Using maps and photos, Dereka showed us the contrast between now and
a possible future.
When we had finished our tour, we had a lovely lunch break, and then made our way
back home to Inforum. What a great day it was!
Now, all the students are getting ready for their presentations, which they will deliver
Good luck everyone!