The EcoWorld Trust's was established in 2004 by John Reuhman, the Director of EcoWorld Picton Aquarium. John is committed to using EcoWorld Picton Aquarium's resources to make a positive contribution to the Picton and the Marlborough Sounds community in particular.
The EcoWorld Trust’s primary focus is on encouraging studies in science, heritage and education. The Trust is all about doing good work, collaborating, connecting, developing relationships and co-operation.
Vision “To increase our understanding of and respect for the environment and our natural heritage and the need for a sustainable co-existence between wildlife and people.
People empowered to take positive action for wildlife and the environment in a global environment where ecosystems are healthy, understood and valued”.
Objectives “To undertake, facilitate and promote research, learning and education in:
(1) New Zealand marine sustainability and science and natural heritage
(2) Sustainability and science of New Zealand’s fauna and flora, heritage and culture.
To generally promote knowledge of sustainability and science of New Zealand marine life, flora, fauna and marine and terrestrial environments.”
The EcoWorld Trust is involved in many projects and sponsorships including:
“Meet The Locals” LEOTC Education Programme at EcoWorld Aquarium. “Learning Experience Outside the Classroom”. More than 4,000 people participate each year.
Education - Tertiary and Post Graduate Study. The Trust assists able students.
SeaWeek. The Trust, alongside EcoWorld Aquarium, is a sponsor of DOC’s “SeaWeek” in Marlborough and plans to extend sponsorship to DOC's Conservation Week.
“Dreamnight at the Aquarium” occurs at EcoWorld Aquarium on the first Friday in December. Chronically ill and disabled children from Marlborough, with their parents, siblings and caregivers are special VIP guests. There are 252 Dreamnight zoos and aquariums in 41 countries. 352,00 people participated as “Dreamnight” guests in 2012.
EcoWorld Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre established in 2009 with the support of DOC, Port Marlborough, Picton Vet Clinic and NZ King Salmon cares for injured and fledgling Little Blue Penguins and several other marine bird species.
Little Blue Penguin - Rescue Rehabilitation and Release. Enclosure and Display. The Trust facilitated the establishment of this in mid 2009 with a donation from Port Marlborough NZ and the support of DOC and EcoWater.
The Tuatara Project involves the Trust, EcoWorld Aquarium, Te Atiawa Manawhenua Ki Te Tau Ihu Trust of Picton and DOC and houses and displays two rare North Brother’s Island Tuatara. Research is ongoing.
Other rare and endangered species in the terrestrial display include giant weta which have been successfully bred and relocated, geckos and skinks.
DOC (Department of Conservation) - Volunteer Conservation Weeks. Participation and sponsorship on Long Island and Blumine Island in Queen Charlotte Sound.
Community Support – the Trust is a sponsor of the Kaipupu Point Sounds Wildlife Sanctuary and supports Forest and Bird and other aligned organisations.