Sustainable Coastlines was one of the organisations that we worked with on our exhibition AQUA investigating how to look after one of our most precious resources - water. Less than six months later this been brought home with a vengeance with the environmental tragedy unfolding around the container ship Rena which is spilling oil into Bay of Plenty waters after hitting the Astrolabe Reef.
Camden Howitt of Sustainable Coastlines has asked that any of the museum's networks that are keen to contribute to the clean-up take the initial step of registering online at: http://www.boprc.govt.nz/oilspillvolunteers/
In the process of creating our new exhibition You Are Here: Mapping Auckland our curators and developers came across the first chart of the Astrolabe reef created by D'Urville after he came across the reef in February 1827. The reef was named after D'Urville's boat the Astrolabe. The text found with the chart suggests D'Urville had his difficulties navigating the reef: "In the middle of a stormy sea at half past eleven D'Urville was amazed to discover a frightful reef, not more than a mile away. By noon they had left behind the ?terrible reefs, which might have been the grave of the Astrolabe'."