Dive Against Debris – Sayuru Pawura (Turn the Tide)

Sri Lanka famously known as ‘the pearl of the Indian Ocean’ that owned world’s finest beaches and marine ecosystems is now among the world’s largest five polluters of sea for the past many years. That is why we initiated the project ‘Sayuru Pawura (turn the tide)’, to create skilled young leaders who can play a pivotal role in conservation of marine eco-system for sustainable existence of the marine biodiversity.

We took a brand-new approach to initiate our project by organizing the “True Price” fashion catalogue featuring the collection inspired by ocean trash which was followed by series of weekly virtual training sessions conducted on the theme, “Sustainable future leadership for ocean conservation”. Then amidst the COVID19 restrictions we were able to conduct an “Arts and Crafts Day” session for the inward patients at Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children to teach them about impact of ocean waste and the concept of upcycling and under our guidance the kids made innovative products from household waste.

Our latest project under ‘Sayuru Pawura’ was the ‘Dive against debris’ beach cleanup and snorkeling training session held on 4th of February at Hikkaduwa. Having a group of youth from Rotaract Clubs of 5 faculties of University of Colombo namely; Faculty of Law, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Management and Finance who dedicated their time and energy was the strength in us. The cleaning was thorough and we were able to collect over 5 kg of PET bottles, 9 kg of glass bottles, and 3 kg of metal cans within few hours. We handed over 17 kg of recyclable trash to authorized recyclers and over 15 kg of biodegradable waste to the local council. We also trained over 20 students the correct techniques of snorkeling. The clean-up was a huge success and many locals in Hikkaduwa and ocean conservation organizations commended our work there.

We are now looking forward to set up a dedicated group of young ocean enthusiasts, from the snorkelers we trained that day, to form an ocean monitoring system, by promoting routine snorkeling in the targeted beaches. It is a pleasure to say that we are slowly but steadily approaching our initial target of making a sustainable future leadership for ocean conservation with skillful training and proper knowledge about marine diversity.

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