17 July 2018
USC will unveil a massive art installation and present a free public lecture on the impact of marine debris on sea life to mark the start of the Hervey Bay Ocean Festival.
USC marine biologist Dr Kathy Townsend, who leads ground-breaking global research into sea turtles and mantra rays, will deliver the thought-provoking talk ‘Plastic Ocean’ on Friday 10 August.
The free community event from 5.30-6.30pm at USC’s Fraser Coast campus will bridge the gap between academia and the public to bring greater awareness of the dangers of sea pollution.
Dr Townsend will draw on more than a decade of research that found more than 30 percent of Australia’s sea turtles were dying from ingesting discarded marine rubbish.
Following the talk, the community is invited to join USC as it unveils ‘Seascape’ – a 15-metre-high projection featuring stunning underwater footage from the pristine waters of Lady Elliot Island.
Filmed by local award-winning photographer Michael Smith of Into the Wild Photography, the installation will help to reinforce the importance of protecting marine creatures and their environment.
It will run every night between 5.30–9pm for the duration of the festival from 10-19 August at USC’s campus in Old Maryborough Road, Hervey Bay.
USC has partnered with organiser Fraser Coast Tourism and Events to present the festival, which celebrates the region’s place as a unique stopover for migrating humpback whales and promotes conservation of its marine environment.
Registration is essential.
— Clare McKay