Under the umbrella of the NO-TRASH TRIANGLE INITIATIVE and with the support of Sulawesi’s Seasoldiers, over 30 boys and girls aged around 12 years were guided by the Lihunu teacher Hellen Tompoh to the resort CoralEye on Saturday the 13th of April 2019. The Mission was: Clean the mangroves from waste.
Seasoldier, an initiative for the sea and its protection, supported the event again. Seasoldier Leivy, student at the University UNSRAT in Manado and also researcher with a scholarship for field studies at CoralEye, explained that mangroves are the only trees that are able to live in saltwater. They exist in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. While Indonesia has approximately 10 million hectares of mangrove forest, 23 percent is considered to be badly damaged and 48 percent is moderately damaged. Moreover, mangroves are home to an unique ecosystem and species. Young organisms grow here and find shelter. Algae, oysters or sponges… are living and filtering the water in the mangrove forests. If those organisms also able to filter micro plastic out of the water is currently subject of the research of Leivy and its colleagues from the university of Munich LMU who have a closer look at sponges, nudibranchs and other marine life. Already after only a few hours, the area looked already a lot more healthy as roundabout 40 big bags of trash were removed from it. They will be sorted and brought back into waste management systems to be recycled.
Of course, the cleaner mangroves are just a temporary condition. The next tide will bring more plastic, glass, aluminium, cloths and non-recyclable waste, but besides this short term improvement, there is hope. Hopefully, these pupils will develop a more healthy symbiosis with the environment and start learning not to put trash into nature, maybe, even continue to collect the waste they see and make their parents change too… An ambitious hope, but the seed is planted.
After the trash collection, seasoldier Leivy and tourists Pijus Milinis and Stefanie Sacherow were happy to thank the children during a snorkel and swim in a cleaner ocean. The work made hungry and everybody appreciated the snack offered by the CoralEye. Waving goodbye the organizers of the day already started to plan the next event in 4 weeks. Sampai ketemu lagi as Indonesian say… see you again!