In celebration of World Ocean Day, the Youth4MPAs South Africa will be hosting an event titled, “OUR OCEAN, OUR MESSAGE” – taking ownership of our ocean. The Youth4MPAs have teamed up with many amazing conservation organizations in and around South Africa to make this event possible, including Wildoceans, The Future Kids Club, IAIAsa student branch KZN, Ocean Research Mossel Bay and the Helderberg Ocean Awareness Movement. We have even connected with our inland families and representatives.
The event will consist of beach and inland clean-ups, educational sessions, and fun activities, which will take place in four provinces, namely, KwaZulu-Natal, Gqeberha, Gauteng and Western Cape. As part of the clean-up, the public will be invited to pledge their message for our ocean. A giant white cloth will serve as our messaging tool and will be placed at each location. This will be a great photo collage opportunity that connects all the individual groups across the different provinces together. We believe this coming together reflects on this year’s decision to drop the ‘s’ in “World Ocean(s) Day ” and reinstates the reality of one ocean connects us all.
The clean-up we aim to host has both fun and educational elements to it. We have added a twist to the traditional beach clean-up and called it a trash hunt, where members of the public will join us and team up to collect common trash items found on our beaches and inland parks spaces, using the “dirty dozen” as their reference. Prizes will be awarded to the teams with the most collection and items checked of their dirty dozen list. The Youth4MPAs pride themselves on their first inland clean-up, this event is meant to reach out to the communities that reside in inland areas. These clean-ups will occur in parts of Pietermaritzburg (KwaZulu-Natal) and Eldorado Park (Gauteng). The purpose of the inland clean-up is to connect with communities residing in those areas through educational sessions where we discuss how they are connected to the ocean and why they should care about the ocean, amongst other topics.
We believe in connectivity through diversity.