World Oceans Day Celebrations

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Barbados will join the rest of the world in celebrating World Oceans Day on Friday, June 8.

Under the theme: Youth: The Next Wave For Change, the National Conservation Commission (NCC) through its Lifeguard Service will be inviting students of two primary schools to participate in a Water Safety Clinic under the sub-theme: Respect For The Ocean.

This clinic will be held on Friday, June 8, at Browne’s Beach, Bay Street, St. Michael, from 10:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

Special Projects Officer at the NCC, Ricardo Marshall, said the clinic would be an introduction to water safety techniques. "Summer fun means beaches and pools as they provide cool relief from hot weather. However, water can also be dangerous for children and adults if they don’t take the necessary precautions," he warned.

He added that globally a large number of children died each year by drowning, but noted while that was not the case for Barbados, residents should not become complacent since the country was surrounded by the ocean.

Mr. Marshall said that it was important to be aware of increased hazards in the ocean due to weather, wind, sea swells, currents, rip currents and uneven ocean floors.

During the clinic, students will be exposed to audio visual presentations and lectures highlighting lifesaving/lifeguarding exercises, and water safety in and around the aquatic environment.

Topics to be addressed include: Simulated Rescues; Lifesaving Sport/lifesaving competitions; Drowning Prevention; Understanding Currents; Understanding Wind and Waves; and Understanding and interpreting flags and beach signage.

Students will also have an opportunity to see some of the equipment used by lifeguards which will be on display.

The beach clinic will be immediately followed by a re-vegetation exercise spearheaded by the lifeguards in an effort to conserve the marine environment at Browne’s Beach.

Assisted by students, 15 lifeguards will plant approximately 25 trees on the beach. They will also install three waste receptacles at Browne’s Beach in an effort to better manage the waste generated at the beach.

"Vegetation on the beach plays an important role in helping to stabilise it and prevent erosion. Without an adequate deep root system to bind the sand, our beaches will be eroded by wind, wave, and rainfall run-off," Mr. Marshall said, adding the trees would provide shade for beach users.

By the end of the day, students are expected to be in a position to identify and understand some of the threats that may be encountered in the aquatic environment, and have a greater understanding and respect for marine life.

They should also have a greater understanding and appreciation for trees and beach vegetation.

julia.rawlins-bentham@barbados.gov.bb

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