Tioman Reef and Beach Clean-Up 16th – 18th May 2009
Pulau Tioman was treated to a little TLC on the weekend of the 16th – 18th of May, courtesy of the Marine Parks Authority of Pahang. Nearly 2000 Crown of Thorns were collected from the reefs by Dive Operators, University departments and Government departments.
Inspired by this clean-up, Reef Check Malaysia, Blue Ventures Malaysia and the Marine Parks department of Pahang decided to extend this to the beaches and local community. A school program, sponsored by Tioman Dive Centre, was run in Sekolah Kebangsaan Tekek on the afternoon of the 16th May. 38 children from the after school Nature Club, Klab Percinta Alam, attended. The program started with a presentation about rubbish and litter and students were asked if rubbish has any value. The dangers that litter presents to the marine habitat as well as how it detracts from tourism were discussed and reducing, reusing and recycling rubbish was presented as a solution to the problem of waste. Students and facilitators then headed out to the beaches and spent almost two hours collecting rubbish and separating it into recyclables and non-recyclables. On return to the classroom, children discussed the rubbish that had been collected and how it could be reduced, reused or recycled.
Then came the really fun part! Plastic bottles collected on the beach clean-up were made into rocket shapes and decorated. They were then launched from the school yard using an air tank and hose.
Hopefully, the weekend served as a fun, educational and effective conservation initiative for tourists, dive operators, the local community and the school students, that can be repeated many times.
Article orginally appeared on Greenfins Malaysia.