In each of our fondest childhood memories, there is at least one of a day at the beach. Sandcastles, feeling the waves beneath our feet and the salty wind in our hair, the sunrises and the sunsets and that particular feeling of inexplicable joy you get when you see the sky suddenly lit up in a splash of colour as the waves turn orange for just a few seconds… These are memories that cannot be replicated. These are the moments the children of today rarely get to enjoy.
Children are no longer able to run barefoot against the waves. A day at the beach is no longer a viable option thanks to the plastic and glass debris polluting our sea.
While most of the younger generation is completely unaware of what they are missing, there are a few who care just enough to try and make changes in their lifestyles in order to protect what will someday be theirs. Children – kids and teenagers are a very powerful force. They are our future and the future of all the generations to come. That is why we at Oceanlust are focusing on including the younger generation in our endeavours towards protecting our ocean. In order to begin planting the seeds of change in the minds of our young, Oceanlust, together with the Sri Lanka Navy, the Navy Veterans Whatsapp Group and the Marine Environmental Protection Authority organised a Beach Cleaning with the presence of kids and teenagers.
The main reason we included children in this Beach Cleanup was so that they can see for themselves how polluted the beaches are and why. While we took this step to open the minds of our children to the issue we are facing, my own mind was blown by the host of knowledge and dedication they had.
One fourteen year old stated that she wished to be a marine biologist and activist because she wanted to do everything in her power to protect our ocean. “We hear about the extinction of animals. And the extinction of plants,” she said adding “But the second we start fearing for the extinction of our ocean is when we will know for sure that humans are not long for this planet.”
One sixteen year old started a project with her school friends in order to reduce the pollution in our lagoons.
Greta Thunberg was just eleven years old when she began her activism. She was a force to be reckoned with as she inspired a countless number of people – children and adults – to join her cause against environmental destruction.
Children do not need to be given the facts and figures of the status of our ocean. They already know. The key is to get them involved. Ocean pollution, beaching of whales, stranded polar bears and the ocean being used as a garbage dump… they know about it all. Knowledge is nothing without action to back it up, and what the ocean needs right now is action. Children are those who will someday inherit our planet and for them to fight for its survival, we need to make them care.
This is not a difficult task. With knowledge comes power and with power comes great opportunities for change. Our ocean is the most precious treasure that we own, and there are no better hands than the hands of our children to place it on.
Hence, with this issue, we at Oceanlust will be focusing on educating and involving our children, and showing them that they are not just a part of the change, but that they are the change.
“I have learned you are never too small to make a difference.” – Greta Thunberg
Ayesh Indranath Ranawaka
Director/ CEO INORA
Editor in Chief Oceanlust Magazine