Every year the Dyer Island Conservation Trust utilizes Marine Month (October) as an opportunity to showcase the efforts we put into marine conservation through Environmental Education.
Working closely with our conservation and environmental partners, the Overstrand Municipality and CapeNature, the DICT and Marine Dynamics with the International Marine Volunteers host the Masakhane Eco Group for environmental education lessons and excursions under guidance of Gina Boysen from Gansbaai Tourism. Exposing children to the wonder of nature, and educating them about the direct impact we have on the world around us by littering, consuming unsustainable resources and disregarding our heritage, is a priority when it comes to conservation awareness and environmental education – and the fact that we cannot keep on doing our conservation duties without the buy in from our local communities has become very evident…
Walking with children on a beach is and eye opener to how blunt our senses have become. We are not aware of our surroundings, and most people can only focus on the large scale impact that we have on our environment. Yes, we do pick up the big crates, the large plastic bags, the big pvc pipes etc that we find on our beaches during a cleanup… but soon everyone thinks that stretch of beach is clean… until you start drawing their attention to the smaller, nondescript little killers hiding between the kelp and in the sand. Fishing line is very infrequently noticed at first, but when you pick up that first piece, and realize how one single strand can kill a seabird or entangle a marine animal you will start noticing it everywhere on our beaches.
The DICT Fishing Line Bin project provides anglers with a responsible means of discarding of their fishing line, minimizing the amount of monofilament line ending up on our beach and draped over our wildlife. Deployed in CapeNature reserves along the Overstrand Coastline, and cleaned by the Overstrand Municipality – this project is making a big impact on our environment. Looking even closer, children start recognizing micro plastics that have been broken down after years of endlessly drifting our seas – this primordial soup is scooped up by our surface skimming seabirds as they mistake this as nourishing food when out foraging, and ends up feeding this to their chicks – the result? A full stomach, with no nourishment and eventually death by starvation… And this is where we endeavor to reinforce with every young person we work with that their choice makes a difference, conservation solutions comes from individuals and it is they who will then influences everyone around them to follow in their responsible footsteps.
Thank you to all the people that make a difference in our lives, that supports the work the DICT undertakes - with a special thank you to Volkswagen South Africa for enabling us to continue with Environmental Education - and a great big thanks to the Overstrand Municipality (our proud Environmental Education Partner), Masakhane School Eco Group and Gina Boysen for your vigor in learning about nature, and Cape Nature as our Conservation Partners.