OVER 100 volunteers took part in a beach cleanup yesterday at the Um Jaleed Island, popularly known as the ‘Bird Island’.
The campaigners, who set out in 25 boats, spent the day on the island along the coast of Fasht Al Adam on the south of Bahrain, where they also set up an artificial reef.
The event was part of the family day organised by the Bahrain Yacht Club (BYC), in its effort to support an environment initiative of a Bahrain-based student.
The Make Our Seas Live Again (MOSLA) campaign by Bahrain School senior student Loewi Schils aims to address the seriously declining fish population and coral reefs in Bahraini waters.
“I love the sea and I wish to give something back to the sea and hence my project MOSLA which is part of my school project,” the 17-year-old Belgian told the GDN.
“I am so happy to see that so many have volunteered to support the project and I am especially thankful to the Supreme Council for Environment and the BYC.
“We were around 120 volunteers who went to the Bird Island on 25 boats from the BYC.
“We cleaned the island and the beach and then we worked on setting up an artificial reef.
“So far the project has raised funds to purchase 20 reef balls, which are basically fish houses, which provide hard surfaces where algae and invertebrates such as corals and oysters can attach, which in turn attracts fish and other marine life to accumulate.
“Reef Arabia will display these reef balls on their barge which will be moored on the BYC beach during Environment Day.”
A BYC spokesman said it was happy to support the initiative.
“The BYC takes seriously the issue of our marine environment and its preservation for the responsible enjoyment of future generations,” he said.
“Therefore the BYC locked effort with the MOSLA campaign to raise public awareness of the critical importance of preserving our seas.
“We are glad that we had our members who agreed to join the project with their boats and assisted in cleaning up the beaches on the Bird Island, which are badly polluted.
“Unfortunately, people enjoying our oceans and island life are leaving behind litter and other garbage which destroy our seas.
“We also have many other activities that are planned at the BYC as part of our family environmental day.”
The event was supported by the Supreme Council for Environment (SCE) and the day ended with a barbeque and beach activities for children.
Bird Island is a small deserted area, a popular spot for a quick picnic at sea. The island is picturesque and known for its habitants of various kinds of birds especially during November and December, when a lot of birds migrate there and breed.