Going to the Beach

Trigg Beach near where I live

I recently heard that

over 1500 new species have been found in Australian waters in the past 10 years.

Everywhere in the world there are countless species we haven’t yet discovered, and if we’re not careful they will be extinct before we know they’re here. The Jan/Feb 2007 issue of New Internationalist was about the State of the World’s Ocean. They note there’s really only one ocean despite our multiple names because they are all interconnected. This means what we do in one part of the ocean may affect every other part.

rockpool seconds after the crab scuttled off

In Waterworld Sara Holden says,

“on land, 10 percent of our woods, meadows, forests, waterways and even swamps are protected…for the remaining 70 per cent of the planet, which is covered by the ocean, it is a very different story. Only 0.1 percent is afforded any protection” [1]

We need so many more marine reserves so our ocean isn’t over-fished, polluted, mined and exploited to the extent that there is nothing left. Sara Holden works for Greenpeace and she writes about the Greenpeace Defending our Oceans expedition.

windswept plants growing on the sand dune above Trigg Beach. I thought this was such a pretty little hidey hole

One marine reserve is Marmion Marine Park near where I live in Perth, Western Australia. I love living near the beach and although I’m not a strong swimmer I love going to the beach and dipping my toes in or just floating in the water (if the waves are too big I don’t go in past my toes).

limestone rock formation

My dog Sheeba shares my love of the beach and we go to a dog beach south of my house. Recently we re-discovered a dog beach north of where I live which has a reef and limestone rocks. The water is gentler which is good because Sheeba and I don’t like big waves. It has a lot more seaweed and ocean life, very different to the surf beach I spend more time at. Going to this beach brought back memories of building sandcastles and snorkelling on the reef in my childhood.

seaweed washed up on the beach

“The offshore limestone reefs of Marmion Marine Park support abundant plant life. Kelps grow on the upper reef surface. Colourful sponges, gorgonian corals and other animals encrust the cave walls, crevices and overhangs.”

rockfall risk area

I grew up with limestone rock formations and caves. They are so different to the granite rock formations and caves of the coast around Albany, in the south of Western Australia, which we visited recently. Exploring limestone rocks can be painful on bare feet, so I have to remember to take shoes if I’m planning this. Limestone rock formations have a habit of caving in, so there are signs and fences around some of the rocks (the fences are waist high wire, so don’t detract too much from the scenery). When I was a kid we could explore much more (and I guess it may have been kind of dangerous and we probably trashed quite a few plants).

Michael and Sheeba exploring the rocks

I remember sitting in hollows in the rocks (not quite caves but we pretended) and guarding our pirate treasure. The signs and fences still let me investigate the rock pools and even when I tell Sheeba she might do better staying on the sand, she wants to join me.



  1. Holden, Sarah (2007) “WaterworldNew Internationalist, no.397, p.25-27

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