Some 47 eighth graders and five teachers from Dalat International School Penang, and five Langkawi Coral staff participated in a beach clean-up at Pulau Payar Marine Park on 15 April 2010. The activity was organized by Langkawi Coral and Dalat International School as part of the students’ annual class trip.
The purpose of the three-day trip (14 to 16 April) was to give students a chance to bond together as a class and prepare them for the transition to high school. The trip gave the students some time to reflect, evaluate the current school year, and set goals for high school. This trip had also provided the students a great chance to learn more about marine science in an outdoor classroom setting.
During the beach clean-up, the students collected trash items such as plastics, fishing line and nets, glass bottles and aluminum cans. This activity served as a platform to educate the students on the importance of conservation in addition to providing them with first-hand experience in protecting the marine environment.
The students were also educated on the harmfulness of marine debris and what they can do to help keep waters debris free. For example, they were taught how to reduce, reuse and recycle as well as to avoid buying plastic products and products with excessive packaging.
Plastics, which take up nearly 80 percent of all the marine debris, are causing harm to underwater environment and wildlife. The rate of plastic usage is alarming as research shows that one million plastic bags are used every minute of the day and almost three million tons of plastics are used to bottle water globally every year.
Marine debris, such as those collected by the students, is affecting an estimated 100,000 marine mammals globally including dolphins, whales, seals and sea turtles. These animals are getting choked or tangled in debris every year.
Having experienced first-hand in a green project, the students are now equipped with the knowledge of ‘going green’ which they can practice in their everyday lives. This is in line with Langkawi Coral’s vision to promote and support green projects that will make an impact on the community.
We also believe that by educating the younger generations and disseminating this green message to students, we are doing our part in cleaning up the earth thus paving the way to more future green projects.
It is very crucial that the next generation understands the importance of conservation because even a small change in thinking, can make a long term difference.