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Oceanographers - do you see what I see?

Oceanographers - do you see what I see?

Author: Anthony Florido
Author Role: Lead Teacher - Geography

As part of their Oceanography studies in elective Geography, 62 students left CHAC at 6am in order to catch the perfect wave. On arrival to Point Danger, students learned that the Tweed River sand bypass and training walls act as hard engineering tools that aim to manage and sustain the coastline. In doing so it was discovered that they have altered the contour, gradient and shape of Rainbow Bay, Coolangatta Beach and Kirra Point.

In examining coastal management techniques in use along the coastline, students are asked to analyse the impact and evaluate the outcomes of these strategies. In addition, they witnessed the coastal landforms that have been created as a result of erosional and depositional processes that have morphed the coastline over thousands of years.

As 80% of Australians choose to live within 100 kilometres of the coastline, an understanding of the surf zone is a critical component of study in Oceanography.

All in all, it was a fantastic day out as well as a magnificent learning experience, as we learnt about our impact on the oceans and how the ocean is a great provider.

- Riana, Year 10 student.

The second part of the day involved all students being introduced to beach safety by the fantastic instructors from Walkin' on Water Surf School. Our oceanographers were armed with the ability to identify headland and bar rips, as well as manouver through the sweep that runs parallel to Greenmount Headland. From this, the intrepid Geographers paddled through the spilling waves to the second sand bank and attempted to ride waves back to the shoreline on their boards. Global surf champ Gabrielle Medena, who happened to be in the area for the World Surf League competition, even shared a wave or two with our students. Some achieved their goals of riding the perfect waves, others were happy to just be able to stand on their boards.

The Oceanography excursion to the Gold Coast was good fun and a great learning experience. It was a great opportunity to see the processes that we have been studying in class, as well as have a good time with friends learning to surf. Seeing the impact that human development has had on the Gold Coast environment is fascinating, and seeing how and why Coolangatta Beach is so large is quite interesting. The learn to surf lessons were also fun, regardless of whether you were good or bad at surfing. Overall, the excursion to Rainbow Bay highly enjoyable and a great experience

- Benjamin, Year 10 student.