Members of the public are invited to the launch of a new exhibition, ‘To the Sea’, this Saturday evening, June 12, at the Byron Bay Community Centre aimed at raising money for local dolphin research projects.

More than 20 artists and photographers have donated pieces to the exhibition which is aimed at raising funds for Southern Cross University’s Dolphin Ecology and Acoustics Project and its two newest programs, ‘Adopt-a-Dolphin’ and ‘The Dolphin Sighting Network.’

Guest speaker, local environmentalist and artist Dailan Pugh, will officially open the exhibition, which will include refreshments from Byron Bay Organic Kitchen and the Byron Bay Premium Brewery, live music and an auction of a selection of exclusive, one-off artworks.

The exhibition, which will run until June 14, will include works on the theme of the ocean donated by many local and interstate artists and photographers including Terezka Beck, Harry Daily and John D’errey.

Dr Liz Hawkins, principal researcher for the Dolphin Ecology and Acoustics Project, said funds raised from the exhibition would go towards helping researchers understand more about local dolphins and how to conserve them in their natural environment.

“A new online community Dolphin Sighting Network has been set up to monitor dolphin behaviour in the region, stretching from Coffs Harbour to the Gold Coast, as part of the University’s Dolphin Ecology and Acoustic Project,” said Dr Hawkins.

“Businesses, schools and members of the public can also participate in the new ‘Adopt-a-dolphin’ program which gives people the opportunity to ‘adopt’ one of six individual dolphins and in return they receive regular updates about the movements and behaviour of their dolphin and an official adoption package.

“Both of these projects will support research to help us better understand local dolphin populations, but we need funding to continue this valuable work.

“We are urging members of the public to come along and support their local dolphin research project.”

The launch of the exhibition, ‘To the Sea’, will take place in the Southern Cross University room in the Byron Bay Community Centre this Saturday, June 12. Doors open 6.30pm, Dailan Pugh will officially open the exhibition at 7.30pm and the auction will begin at 8pm. All work will remain on display until Monday June 14.

For further information and the full list of artists, go to Southern Cross University’s Dolphin Ecology and Acoustic Project website: www.dolphinresearchaustralia

PICTURE: ‘In Transit’ (oil on canvas) by Terezka Beck will be one of the artworks on display at the ‘To the Sea exhibition in Byron Bay this Saturday.