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SAVE OUR SEA TURTLES!

AQUAMERIDIAN’S ACTION PLAN – PART 2

27 May 2018

Save Our Sea Turtles! AquaMeridian’s 3 part action plan saw nearly 2,820 volunteers of all ages join in the biggest and hottest coastal cleanup in Hong Kong history. It all began with a press conference held at the U.S. Counsulate on May 25th where US Council General Kurt W. Tong, our Conservation Ambassador Michael Tong, and our T-shirt sponsor Sun Hop Fong attended. Then on Sunday, May 27th, while the thermostat read 48.3c (119F) at 9am, we set out to clear Shum Wan’s nearby Shek Pai Wan of 187 bags, more than 1,300kg of mostly broken up small pieces of plastic bags, straws, junk food wrappers, and other plastic trash, in order to keep it out of the ecosystem. Divers also took 70kg of plastic and trash (not including nets) removed from the bottom of the bay along with 50kg of GhostNets. 
 
TOTAL TRASH REMOVED: 1,420kg. Due to the size of our group, cleaning the actual Turtle Cove (Sham Wan) wold have been a bad idea in case human activities stressed any possible turtles, and we had cleaned Turtle Cove with AFCD the week before anyway. The hike from the pier to Shek Pai Wan took us through villages and woods but all participants were soon drenched in sweat under the relentless sun. Nobody gave up though, even families with a few very young kids. They came prepared and wanted the kids to have a learning experience. Down to the youngest child, all were troopers and l didn’t see any tears. In fact, they really seemed to be enjoying themselves. At the beach, kids were telling me all about how much trash they found, what it was, and getting educated about why it’s bad for the environment. They were getting a serious dose of responsibility and pride! Our participants arrived and left Shek Pai Wan in large waves. Most folks were spending about an hour cleaning up, then heading back but some stayed to enjoy a swim. There were over 30 nationalities cleaning up, the eldest participant being an 83 year old independent hiker and the youngest was 3 yrs old. Next year, we will try to manage an aerial photo of everyone as volunteers from the Hong Kong police brought drones! We just need to plan a bit better. On the same day, Lamma Island was celebrating some serious local festival. There was a lot of fun cultural colour to see including lion dancing and clan boats. 

A huge thanks to all involved including Scottcopter Drone Academy, Momax, OliveRidley Beer Ltd, Humble Brush, FEHD, AFCD, HKKF, DPHK, HKPF, MarPol, MarDep, EPD, LoSoKitchen, WaiKee Seafood Restautant, the Chau Family, the HKKF Ferry Co who added several trips to accommodate our participants, and all the Lamma residents who welcomed us so warmly to help in make our 2nd annual Turtle Cove Cleanup a huge success!!!

PARTICIPANTS👫:
A total of more than 70 social, domestic helper, hiking, environmental groups, schools, police, event volunteer crew, media, combined including –
Scuba divers & boats (6 boats in total), The Covo – Migrant Workers, Mama Helper, Helpers Choice, SeaKayakHK, Marine Police, Junior Police Cadets, Police chief with drones, The Harbour School, Democratic Party, South Lamma Rural Committee, Chinese International school, South Island School, Hong Kong hiking Meetup, and many more we have not listed.
TOTAL 2,263