2009 – DR ROGER GRACE

Environmentalist, Photographer, Writer, Researcher

Roger Grace

Readers will know that Roger is a regular contributor to this magazine. His excellent articles have increased our understanding of marine life and his photography has splashed vibrant colour throughout the magazine’s pages for many years.

Reading through his CV is very impressive. He has achieved an enormous amount during his 39 years as a practising marine biology researcher. He has made us aware of the need to value and to support marine conservation initiatives. He is a very strong advocate for establishing marine reserves as part of the complex issues that need to be addressed to ensure the future health of the world’s vast marine ecosystem.

Following are just a few of the projects he has been involved with:

  • Over 30 years of reef fish and crayfish monitoring in protected and non-protected areas.
  • Invited photographer and sometimes scientist on many international Greenpeace expeditions, since 1990.
  • Study of impacts on benthos of channel deepening and widening projects at Port of Tauranga, and effects of dumping sediment offshore.
  • Monitoring biological impacts of sand extraction in the Kaipara Harbour and Northland east coast.
  • Monitoring the effects of dredge spoil dumping by Ports of Auckland Ltd on rocky reef life in the Hauraki Gulf.
  • New Caledonia: With a team from Conservation International a survey of coral reef and lagoon fishes.
  • Guide to the Kermadec Islands for Jacques Cousteau on the Calypso.
  • Guide for National Geographic underwater photographer David Doubilet on two expeditions to New Zealand.
  • Habitat Mapping of Tawharanui marine park, Mimiwhangata marine park, Doubtless Bay, Motukaroro marine reserve, Whangarei to name a few.
  • Presentations of evidence at Regional Council and Environment Court hearings.
  • Approximately 245 magazine articles with pictures, mostly on marine issues with a conservation theme.

He has been recognised before for his environmental work:

  • Queens Service Medal for Public Service, 2005.
  • Mobil Environmental Award 1974.

It was indeed a pleasure to publicly recognise Roger amongst the diving fraternity for the work and time he has devoted to increasing our understanding of marine life and conservation issues.

I also wish to thank Denis and Trish Adams of the Dolphin Underwater and Adventure Club for their organisation in getting Roger along to the Club’s dinner as part of the club’s activities for hosting this years’ New Zealand Underwater Association AGM.

Also thanks to the Dolphin Underwater and Adventure Club for allowing us to present the Award during the dinner – most appreciated.

–Dave Moran. More information on the Wyland Foundation here.

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