Tree Foundation, Roots and Shoots, India, Department of Environment, and Indian Coast Guard jointly organised ‘Flipper Fest’12 – a marine biodiversity conservation awareness mela for school and college students on July 19 and 20 at Kumararani Meena Muthiah College of Arts and Science, Gandhi Nagar, Adyar. Various competitions such as quiz, painting, poster making, essay, eco-drama and model making were held for school students. For colleges the competitions were poster presentation on endangered species, paper presentation, street play on ‘Saving our Oceans,’ face painting and model making.

All the competitions laid emphasis on conserving ecosystem, especially low carbon emission initiatives, coral bleaching, ocean pollution, marine litter and other problems which are confronting our ocean. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Supraja Dharini, Chairperson, Tree Foundation, said, “The fest is aimed at involving the student community and increasing awareness on marine biodiversity. The mela is a prelude to the International Coastal Cleanup Day, which falls on September 16.

“Around 10 lakh people depend on ocean for protein food. People should know about the inter-connectivity between land and the ocean. Future generations should work for the conservation of marine biodiversity,” she added.

S.C. Tyagi, DIG, Indian Coast Guard (East), detailed the measures undertaken by the Coast Guard to protect marine biodiversity. He said that it has been working with the Tree Foundation for the past seven years in conservation of coastal-biodiversity. He mentioned the role played by our ocean ecosystems, how it regulated the earth’s climate and what students can do to protect it. Principle Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden, Rakesh Vashist, advised the students to work for conservation of marine biodiversity and create an awareness among the people.

He outlined three measures to protect marine biodiversity – taking part in beach-cleaning campaign, informing the Department of Forest and Indian Coast Guard about any illegal activity involving the threatened species, and segregation of waste from home.

More In: Chennai