Project Baseline Wellington is a group of engaged scuba divers documenting our local marine environment. The Wellington Harbour and rugged South Coast are iconic Wellington landmarks. Divers have a privileged view of the marine environment and can bring back photos and videos of an otherwise invisible world. A systematic collection of data allows us to build up a snapshot or baseline of what is hidden under the waves. Over time, observations provide a powerful tool to showcase even small and slow changes in the marine environment that would otherwise go unnoticed - a phenomenon often referred to as 'shifting baseline'. Project Baseline Wellington is set up to provide a platform for engaged divers and those interested in our local environment to contribute their underwater observations, build a long-term record and engage the public in marine conservation. Bringing the global Project Baseline initiative to New Zealand our local divers can actively contribute to document the health and vitality of the world's underwater environments, increase public awareness of the health and threat to the world's underwater environments and facilitate political action that improves and protects the health of the world's underwater environments.
We have started monitoring the extent of giant kelp in Kau Bay in June 2016 and we will continue to promote the importance of and threats to seaweed and Wellington's coastal marine ecosystems and associated marine life to the public. We actively try to reach a wide audience and support the marine education school program run by Mountains to Sea Wellington Trust (read more here).