World Oceans Day 2016


Wednesday June 8

3.45pm – 5.30pm

Celebrate World Oceans Day 2016 with a rockpool ramble to collect data for Climatewatch Marine.

Let out your inner scientist and join the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre for an afternoon looking at critters at the local beach.

The afternoon will start, at the Discovery Centre in Eden, with an introduction to Climatewatch and the survey method we will be using. We will then venture down to the rock pools to conduct a 30 minute survey of the animals that live there.


Free event. Bookings are required.

Call 0264961699 or email


Turning the Tide on Trash

The forum is being held on May 28th and 29th, 2016 at Club Sapphire in Merimbula. The tdougbinheme for the 2016 forum is Turning the tide on trash: Discussing the problems, working towards solutions, which dissects the issue of marine debris, where it comes from, what impacts it has on our environment and what we can do.

The forum is run over 2 days with 4 different marine scientists presenting on their research and a pollution solution workshop run by Doug Reckord from Bournda Environmental Education Centre. The researchers come from a variety of backgrounds and will cover topics such as the effects of micro plastics on shorebirds, the economic impact of debris and how we can use citizen science to make a difference.

Register online now

Visit the SCMDC website for more information

SCMDC Marine Science Forum

The Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre runs a marine science forum every year to showcase the wonderful research happening in our oceans.

The theme for the 2015 forum is Our Changing Oceans. A look at changes in climate and species population in relation to the Sapphire Coast.

 Date: May 2 and 3, 201528984 SCMDC Posters

Location: Club Sapphire, 119 Main St, Merimbula, NSW

The forum is run over 2 days with 6 different marine scientists presenting on their research. They will cover topics such as tropical invaders, ocean acidification, how climate change affects our beaches and much more.

There will be outdoor activities run on Saturday afternoon to allow participants to explore the beautiful Sapphire Coast. Followed by a social dinner on Saturday night at Wheelers Restaurant in Merimbula (additional cost, bookings required). The dinner is a great chance to meet the speakers and a fun night out.
Please advise us of any dietary requirements.

 Book online now!

Or download the registration form below

Marine Science Forum 2015 Registration Form

Registration Fees
(NB: fees include morning tea both days and lunch on the Saturday)

General Public

Early Bird Special (Thursday April 2, 2015)

Primary or High school Student

Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd May




3 course dinner at Wheelers Merimbula – 6.30pm
Saturday 2nd May  (booking essential)




Contact Details:

Jillian Riethmuller

02 64961699

Sapphire Coast Underwater Research Group AGM

If you are a diver and want to do some research dives then this is for you.

The Sapphire Coast Underwater Research Group (SCURG) AGM is on tomorrow night (Thursday October 2) at 5.30pm at Club Sapphire in Merimbula.

We will be electing our committee at the meeting and planning what the club will do in the coming months.

All current and possible new members are welcome to attend.

SCURG conducts research dives on marine debris, fish identification and photographing weedy sea dragons.

Weedy Sea Dragon

Join the Oceans Connected Marine Survey

1901544_728015357263321_1851959195571913798_nThis Saturday (August 23) the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre is holding an Open Day to celebrate National Science Week. As part of the Open Day we will be running our second Oceans Connected marine survey.  The survey is running from 11am – 1pm and we would like to invite you to come along and be citizen scientists for the day. Everyone is welcome to come along and learn about the local rock pools and how we can contribute to real science.

We have Dr Linden Ashcroft from ClimateWatch coming along to run the survey and to answer all your questions. It will be a a wonderful way to explore the local rock pools and discover the diversity of life that lives there.

tara hicks

Where: Meet at the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre then down to Shellys Beach

When: 11am – 1pm

Cost: Free

To book in for the survey visit:

Finding Dragons of the underwater variety

On a cold and blustery day in August five volunteers braved the cold to go on an underwater expedition to find a dragon. Water temperatures of 13 degrees Celsius would not deter these brave souls from their mission. Luck was with them on this day as they were able to not only find a dragon but they found over 8 and managed to capture them on camera.

Weedy sea dragon

This dragon is none other than the Weedy Sea Dragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus), a beautiful and iconic fish; yes it is a fish, which is endemic to Australian waters. The Sea Dragon is related to the sea horses and lives amongst the weeds in southern Australia. It has appendages on its body that assists it in camouflage amongst sea weed; this is its only form of protection from predators.

It is a protected species in NSW waters; it is listed in the 1997 IUCN Red List in the Data Deficient category. Due to the categorisation of this species as data deficient scientists are now trying to gather data on as many populations in Australia to develop a deeper understanding of population sizes, longevity and breeding habits.

Professor David Booth from the University of Technology in Sydney is leading the research and has enlisted the help of local dive group the Sapphire Coast Underwater Research Group (SCURG) to collect photographic data and DNA samples from local populations of Weedy sea dragons. David Booth will be presenting at the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre Marine Science Forum in May, 2015.

M0016632The SCURG dive team was able to find, photograph and collect tissue samples of the Twofold Bay Weedy Sea Dragon population that will be sent to David Booth for analysis. The photos are extremely important as they allow researchers to identify individuals within the population. Weedy Sea Dragons have vivid yellow spots on the side of their body in a pattern that is unique to each individual and work like a fingerprint. Scientists are able to use computer software to analyse the photos and recognise individuals. With dive surveys photographing the population over time the scientists will be able to estimate population sizes and longevity of the species in each location.

This dive would not have been possible without the generous contribution from the Merimbula Divers Lodge who has offered ongoing support to local marine research and the SCURG group.

Whilst under the water the SCURG team conducted research for a second project, two birds with one stone.  As part of an ongoing Marine Ecology project run by the Atlas of Life and the Sapphire Coast Marine Society the divers set up data loggers to measure water temperature and thirty metre transect lines to record and monitor the sea weed in the area.

boatThese are both ongoing research programs and SCURG will be doing more dives locally to collect more data. If you are interested in being involved please find us on Facebook or email us


Nothing Found

Sorry, no posts matched your criteria