This month, White Shark Projects hosted our annual blue initiative campaign, 21 Days for the Ocean. Since 2014, we have been spreading ocean optimism and awareness not just in our local communities in the Overstrand, but also globally.
Our 2019 theme was ‘The Ocean in Us’. Every one of us is connected to the ocean in some way – whether through our food, our work, our spiritual connection and even the air we breathe. Through our varied and exciting programme of events our aim was to improve people’s understanding that no matter what walk of life you are from the ocean is integral to our health and prosperity. Examples of events included, coastal clean-ups, school outreach, local fundraisers, presentations and much more.
To begin this year’s campaign, White Shark Projects launched an exciting educational group called Ocean Defenders, with the aim of providing young marine enthusiasts with the skills and knowledge to help protect the ocean environment. For the launch we took our Ocean Defenders on the River Rat Boat in Stanford for bird spotting and cleaning up any debris along the way.
Through events such as ocean activities in schools, presentations and Recycle Swop Shop, White Shark Projects reached 580 children locally during 21 Days for the Ocean. Through them, we can help change the next generation’s attitudes and impact on the environment. In addition, we aim to give young people a sense of fulfilment and pride in helping prevent further damage to the oceans we so heavily rely on.
For the social media part of our campaign, this year we shared the message of 21 different ocean activists from over the world, who were unable to be directly working in the Overstrand area, but are doing their part for the ocean from where they live. Our Facebook posts throughout the 21 Days campaign reached an incredible 142,488 people, helping to spread ocean optimism globally.
Every day during the campaign, White Shark Projects volunteers took part in a 21 minute litter clean-up around the Overstrand area. Incredibly, 7,307 items were picked up in just 21 Days. It was clear to see the biggest issue for the environment is cigarette butts which made up a whopping 2,453 of the total. Followed by pieces of unknown plastic, food packaging and microplastic.
This year, there were more than 40 organisations involved with 21 Days for the Ocean. White Shark Projects would like to thank all of the organisations for your help in spreading ocean awareness. Knowledge is a key component in conserving the precious oceans that are integral to all life on our planet.
White Shark Projects also want to thank all our volunteers for their participation. From the volunteers that were physically with us, helping with events, to the ones who are spreading the message where ever they are globally.
Join us in September 2020 and help make a difference!
“No water, no life. No blue, No green.” – Dr. Sylvia Earle
Written by Georgina Vermeulen
Marine Biologist at White Shark Projects
Published 30th September 2019
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