Turtle float to help people ‘connect with the ocean’

Keeping the seas clean: A turtle float being flagged off to mark World Cleanup Day on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

To commemorate World Cleanup Day, the U.S. Consulate-General Chennai in partnership with Tree Foundation and United Way Chennai flagged off a mobile turtle float on Saturday.

World Cleanup Day is a social action programme observed globally to combat the problem of solid waste, including marine debris.

Kathryn Flachsbart, acting U.S. Consul General in Chennai, and Indian Coast Guard officials flagged off the float in a live-streamed event. From conservation organisation Tree Foundation in Neelankarai, the float travelled along the East Coast Road to Mahabalipuram. Till the campaign ends in November 2021, the float will be in public view and visit fishing villages, beaches, a tourist spot and a fishing harbour. “For more than 100 million years, sea turtles have been protecting the oceans by maintaining productive coral reef ecosystems and transporting essential nutrients from oceans to the beaches and coastal dunes. Protecting and increasing the sea turtle population will contribute to our oceans’ health for years to come,” said Ms. Flachsbart. Ocean health was a shared climate challenge.

“We hope that the instances of ghost nets, carelessly discarded nets, and plastic in the ocean will greatly reduce over time. Attitudinal change will become a part of the daily routine of the communities we work with,” said Supraja Dharini, founder, TREE Foundation. She said their Sea Turtle Protection force members organise annual coastal clean-up and community welfare programmes.

The turtle float had been envisioned as a mobile visual exhibit depicting ocean biodiversity and is based on the theme of “connect with the ocean”. Models of aquatic species and banners detailing information about the wonders of the oceans as well as threats are a part of the exhibit. Recreated models from ghost nets are part of the float and on Saturday, volunteers from TREE Foundation and students on bicycles travelled with the float.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 3:45:34 PM |

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