By Jaqueline B. Ramos*
In the week when World Water Day is celebrated (March 22), it is also worth celebrating all the initiatives taken by people around the world with the aim of preserving and conserving all water resources.
In Japan, more specifically in Mikawa Bay, in the center of the country, a group of young sailors is focused on using their knowledge to combat plastic pollution in the oceans.
“I believe that the most important thing to guarantee the future of our seas is to carry out educational activities for children”, emphasizes Yuuki Satta, sailor and founder of the Seagull Yacht Club, in Chita-Gun, in Aichi state.
Yuuki says that the club started its activities in the 1940s, but spent decades closed and disabled. Two years ago, she decided to renovate it, but with a differential view: to apply sailing as an instrument of education in favor of the environment.
“Many sailing clubs have the leisure of the sports as their goal. Here we want to sail to educate and raise awareness ”, she explains. “Sailing allows you to see problems at sea up close and do something in practice for nature.”
Clean-up and art
Last year, the club started promoting clean-up events on beaches in Mikawa Bay and on Sakushima Island – which is an hour’s sailing from Seagull. The meetings are mainly prepared for children, but are open to anyone who is interested in participating and helping.
With the material collected, the participants create pieces of art, which are on display in the club and help the public to reflect on the problem of the high volume of garbage found in the sea. Yuuki also has plans to promote lectures at local schools.
Another activity already started by the group led by the Yuuki is the collection and study of microplastics. “We are starting, but our idea is to collaborate more and more to investigate marine litter and microplastics found in the Mikawa area and in Aichi,” says Yuuki. “We want to collect, generate data and involve children in these activities.”
About three months ago the club also joined as a partner in a project to produce recycled fuel for boats, made from garbage collected at sea and industrial waste. The work was already being developed by the company Ichitake Industrial Factory together with Nagoya Institute of Technology and the sailing club comes with the experience of collecting plastics in the region and managing of marine waste.
“Since we reopened, we have many ideas and projects, and we are open to new partnerships. We want to work on solutions for the environment ”, concludes Yuuki.
Check images of the activities developed by Seagull and its partners in Mikawa Bay (photos – courtesy of Seagull Watch Club):
Example of marine waste collected
Clean-up and art activities with children
Learn more and follow Seagull’s work through the website and its social media:
*Journalist and independent writer at Ambiente-se Comunicação – https://www.ambientesecom.net – and Communications Manager at GAP Project Brazil / International – https://www.projetogap.org.br. Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, currently living in Nagoya, Japan.