Coast KZN

15 Sep 2022

SDCEA Youth get schooled in Durban’s marine resources

Dominic Naidoo (IOL) Picture: The South Durban Community Environmental Alliance

The South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) recently celebrated both Arbor and Marine Week, which take place annually in September and October respectively.  The purpose of Marine Week is to create awareness of the marine and coastal environment, the promotion of sustainable use and conservation of these resources, for the benefit of all, both present and future generations.

Arbor Week, which is celebrated in the first week of September, is an opportune time to call on all South Africans to plant indigenous trees as a practical and symbolic gesture of sustainable environmental management.

Learners at the recent SDCEA youth event (SDCEA, Supplied)

The SDCEA hosted a youth event to commemorate Arbor and Marine Week. The event took place over four days, from September 6 to 9. The event involved schools from the Wentworth, Jacobs and Merebank communities partaking in educational activities and tours throughout Durban.

Event activities began at the Beachwood Mangroves Nature Reserve, hosted by Camrin Moodeliar, a volunteer of the SDCEA. Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife honorary officers assisted with providing learners with insights into the importance of mangrove ecosystems, the current crisis that our rivers and oceans face due to pollution and climate change, and what we can do to help protect them.

Day two of the event consisted of a workshop held at the Austerville Community Hall, where school kids were educated on what exactly Arbor Week is and the purpose of Arbor Day, as well as several other educational activities.

In honour of Marine Week, the final day of the event took learners on a day out to visit the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board in uMhlanga, which enthralled them with a shark dissection and an educational workshop to learn about the importance of our oceans.

Learners concluded the day with a beach clean-up at Blue Lagoon Beach, where they got hands-on experience collecting litter off the beach. Guest speaker Preston Chetty then addressed the children on the importance of proper waste management.

Kershnie Ramreddi, Energy and Just Transition Project Officer at SDCEA, said: “The SDCEA believes in the importance of the youth in South Africa. It is our children who need attention and education as they are future leaders. Our aim is to give the youth of South Africa as much knowledge as they can consume and to allow their voices to make a difference.”