The purpose of The Lantau Island Paddle is primarily aimed at raising money for Plastic Free Seas (PFS) to help support their continued work with raising awareness of environmental pressures on the community of Discovery Bay, Hong Kong and beyond. The alarming and heartbreaking levels of plastic waste in the sea is a particular focus and also the knock-on effects this has on both marine and coastline environments.
Educating the next generation and empowering the existing ones to face their responsibilities towards the environment is key. It is important for communities not to merely accept the condition that our beaches and sea water are in but to actively want to change it. It is essential that we are proud of our coastlines and want to improve for the wildlife, the eco-systems and for our future generations who deserve to enjoy it.
Plastic Free Seas is an incredible charity who are working hard in Hong Kong to educate the generations on the impact of using plastic and what we can all be doing to change and minimise our effect on the environment. PFS currently provide free educational sessions in schools and workshops for companies and they're ready to develop this further so that they can reach the masses.
We are aiming to raise HK$100,000 for PFS, which they will use to develop their website and build an educational platform that teachers all over Hong Kong can use to educate their students in class. The platform will include lesson plans, teaching resources and activities, all of which will be bilingual. The 5 topics of focus will be:
Lantau: our home
Habitats: sandy shores, rocky coastline, mudflats/mangroves
Sustainable Development: airport expansion, Zhuhai/Macau bridge, incinerators, East Lantau Metropolis plan
Watersheds: the influence of thePearl River Delta; rivers and seas, fresh vs salty water, tides and currents
Marine life: Chinese White Dolphin, Finless Porpoise, White Sea Eagle, the fish farms at Chi Ma Wan, Horseshoe Crabs and Fidler Crabs
Marine pollution: what it is (chemicals and rubbish), where does it come from (brands), where does it go and how can we prevent it?
The development of the Plastic Free Seas website is an incredible way to continue the education throughout the generations - it's the long term plan. But this challenge provides "right here right now" real life resources to educate the children in Jonny and Tim's school, Discovery Bay International School. Jonny and Tim are huge on community and want to get the children involved in every step of the way. Throughout the week children will have hands on access to:
Water samples brought back to school, fresh that day, to analyse and test
Coast line video footage showing the litter on the beaches, the infrastructure impacting the coast, habitats being damaged
Prompts for discussions and research topics: with the tides and currents how is the litter being deposited? What are the pressures from the population growth of neighbouring Tung Chung?