Northern Beaches Celebrates Pearl of an Idea
Member for Manly James Griffin and the Northern Beaches community will this weekend commemorate the Long Reef Aquatic Reserve, on its 40th anniversary, as a pivotal resource in marine education for all.
“The Long Reef Aquatic Reserve was declared as the State’s first aquatic reserve in 1980, a huge acknowledgement of the importance of this unique environment right here on our doorstep,” Mr Griffin said.
“From the shore from Collaroy rock baths south to Long Reef Surf Lifesaving Club and out to 100 metres offshore, the Reserve extends over 80 hectares, and has been described as a ‘living museum’, which provides more microhabitats for marine animals to breed than any similar area on the coast.”
Mr Griffin said the Long Reef Aquatic Reserve was protected for educational and scientific purposes to protect rocky shore plants and animals (invertebrates and cunjevoi), after marine life became seriously depleted due to intensive collection for food and bait over the years.
For more than 70 years it has been a focal point for marine education with thousands of school children, university students and the public visiting the aquatic reserve each year to learn about intertidal animals and plants.
“To our local community, the Long Reef Aquatic Reserve is valued and celebrated for a variety of activities including walking, exploring the rock platform, swimming, fishing, snorkelling, scuba diving, surfing and boating,” Mr Griffin said.
“Quite simply it is the pearl of marine education here on the Northern Beaches.
“The fortieth anniversary of the declaration of the Reserve is an exciting acknowledgement of the understanding and appreciation of the values of Long Reef Aquatic Reserve and its role in research and education, and as a valuable ecological pocket for the northern beaches community.
“Locals feel a great sense of pride and place for the Reserve, and the huge role it plays in marine conservation, with dedicated Fishcare Volunteers providing educational tours and encouraging the community to use and look after the area.”
For more information on Long Reef Aquatic Reserve’s 40th birthday visit here.