CHILDREN and adults mingle at the water’s edge. Photos Sven Carlsson OS0012-01

CHILDREN and adults alike had a great time at Te Ahiaua at Waiotahe this week during a full immersion swimming and water-care REAP event.

REAP early childhood co-ordinator Sheryl Semmens said 90 children attended the “care for our seas” event on Tuesday where, among other things, they learned about the dangerous impact plastic had on the ocean.

“We need to control the use of plastics,” she said.

“Last year, there were 30,000 plastic bags used per week in Whakatane alone.”

While the ban on single-use plastic bags was a good step forward, there were many items still being needlessly packaged in plastic.

“Birds and whales end up eating the plastics,” Ms Semmens said.

“It’s our kaimoana and we need to start now to safeguard it for future generations.”

REAP House of Science facilitator Natalie Sandifer had set up tanks with water environments, explaining how barnacles, baby crabs and fish all co-existed in the sea.

The Tiakina o Tatuo Moana – Care for our seas – event ran from 10am to 12.30pm.