Science Week delayed but Coffs Dolphin Marine Park has big plans Coffs Coast Coffs Coast News by News Of The Area - Modern Media - August 23, 2021 Ecogrom students will learn about dolphins in Week Six of the Animal Carer Program – Stacey demonstrates how a dolphin tail is a unique shape, just like human fingerprints. NATIONAL Science Week, celebrated this week, sees scientists at Coffs Dolphin Marine Conservation Park postponing their planned offer. Twelve enthusiastic young students were due to start the new six-week EcoGrom Marine Animal Carer after-school program which has been delayed due to lockdown. The program is designed for eight-16-year-olds. It’s an experience-focused, hands-on program based on NSW school syllabus science lessons and covers a different marine animal each week and the environmental issues they face. Life Sciences Manager Tiga Cross told News Of The Area, “In Week Four the kids get up close and meet an Australian Sea Lion. “They learn the differences between a seal and a sea lion and how everyone can protect our oceans from overfishing by choosing Marine Steward Council (MSC) approved fish products. “The kids usually go home smelling of fish but smiling.” Tiga added that the Park is currently closed to visitors and operating on a skeleton staff, but the animals are in their usual expert hands. “Unlike other businesses and organisations which can close down and minimise expenses, we have to keep the Park running to care for our resident animals. “We feed the animals and clean up after them and continue their physical and mental enrichment programs to ensure optimal welfare. “Plus, there are practical tasks such as making sure that the water quality is maintained. “And of course, we are constantly monitoring and nursing our sick and injured animals in our rescue facility. “Our rescue service, Dolphin Marine Rescue, continues to operate 24/7. “It’s very challenging without visitors because the money that visitors spend in the park funds our day-to-day operations, conservation and education programs and rescue services and facilities. “Without visitors we rely on government support and donations which is not sustainable.” You can find out more about Dolphin Marine Conservation Park’s education and conservation programs here: https://dolphinmarineconservation.com.au. By Andrea FERRARI Ecogrom students will learn about the Park’s smallest marine animals – Freshwater Turtles and help weigh and feed them.