Whilst March is a busy time for walkers, marine enthusiasts also enjoy a jam-packed month of activities, events and educational talks on St Helena as part of Marine Awareness Month.
St Helena’s marine life is one of the Island’s most important and popular tourist attractions; with clear waters, wreck dives, 10 endemic fish and yearly visits from adult male and female whale sharks just some of the highlights. Marine Awareness Month is designed to educate the public on these important marine features and how we can help to preserve them.
Marine Conservation Officer with the Environmental Management Division, Elizabeth Clingham, said: “Our Ocean is so special! Often we take it for granted. The purpose of this month is to encourage everyone to take a moment and think about how important it really is and what small changes we can make to preserve it.”
The Making March Marine programme features various different marine themed activities for both adults and children. Sessions that have already been enjoyed included an arts and crafts workshop for children held in the Museum, and a chance to swim in the sea with diving experts. A great introduction for those who had yet to sample our South Atlantic waters.
Activities being organised for adults include a marine games night at Anne’s Place (on 31 March), arranged by the St Helena Nature Conservation Group.
The largest interactive event is the Ocean Festival (12pm to 5pm on 1 April). There will be a market selling local produce and a variety of water sports on offer including jet skis, knee boarding, water skiing and doughnut rides.
Educational events will include a screening of the documentary ‘The end of the line’, which highlights the devastating effect overfishing has had on the world’s fish populations. The Dive Club will also have display boards, tanks and a mini aquarium that the public are welcome to visit between 27 and 31 March.
Another important element of the month’s activities will be caring for our marine environment. An underwater clean-up and Jamestown Run clean-up will highlight the importance of ocean cleanliness and bringing the island together to help sustain the underwater community. Elizabeth said: “Now is the time to put emphasis on the ocean; highlight its importance and have fun, but also to encourage our community to respect the balance between use and protection.”
For the full Making March Marine programme, click here.