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Plan for Blake Station confirmed by Minister of Conservation

March 5, 2014

Plans for Blake Station confirmed by Minister of Conservation

The Sir Peter Blake Trust is thrilled by the Minister of Conservation's announcement today that the new scientific research station, to be built on the Subantarctic Auckland Islands, will be named for one of New Zealand's greatest leaders, Sir Peter Blake.

“We feel that all New Zealanders will have a connection to this critical research base, through its identity as "Blake Station" and its association with one of our most inspiring and regarded New Zealanders,” says Sir Peter Blake Trust CEO, Shelley Campbell.

In his later life Sir Peter launched Blake Expeditions, with the intention of driving education and awareness about the fragility of the global marine environment. During his sailing career, Sir Peter began to notice significant environmental changes, particularly in what he called "hotspots," such as the Southern Ocean, which were areas that had a significant impact with regard to their marine health on the rest of the planet. For example, the numbers of albatross he would see during Southern Ocean voyages became far fewer over the years and Sir Peter understood that there must be some critical changes taking place to have such a detrimental effect on this magnificent species.

Last month, the Sir Peter Blake Trust launched the first of two planned Subantarctic Young Blake Expeditions to the Auckland Islands, an area that has been identified as a key indicator for measuring changes in the earth's climate. The twelve 16-18 year old young leaders selected to join the expedition were a key part of drafting the feasibility study for Blake Station, which will allow New Zealand scientists and worldwide agencies to work together towards understanding the effect of ocean and climate change and what the impact will be on New Zealand’s environment, biodiversity and economy.

“The 12 young leaders, representing high schools across New Zealand, worked with Deep South National Science Challenge lead and Blake Leader, Professor Gary Wilson, on conducting the surveys and research required for Blake Station and we know Sir Peter would be incredibly proud of the outstanding efforts they contributed to the proposal,” added Ms Campbell.

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