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Hong Kong Children Create Giant Shark to Inspire Protection

November 14, 2013 Lifestyle No Comments Email Email

More than 1000 children on Repulse Bay Beach formed an aerial art spectacular as part of Kids Ocean Day in the form of a shark with adetached fin.

image001The children then moved in unison to re-attach the fin, symbolizing the improved health of the ocean environment. International artist John Quigley created the originalsketch by the winner of the children’s drawing competition, in large scale on the beach. The event was preceded by a week of ocean talks at local school assemblies.

KidsOcean Week delivered an exciting environmental education program, which is designed to motivate children to care about beaches and the ocean ecosystem, and what they can doin their own neighborhoods to reduce the impact on our ocean environment. This included an emphasis on recycling and waste reduction, which is an important topic today in HongKong’s community. Kids Ocean Day is organized by Hong Kong’s Ocean Recovery Alliance and the Los Angeles organizations Malibu Foundation and Spectral Q, with assistance fromperformance consultancy Bonza Pie, visual and creative agency LHK Media and Tai Tam Tuk Eco Education Centre.

This is the second year to be bringing the event to the Southern District of Hong Kong and the only one of its type in Asia. This pioneering event of human beach art involves thelocal and international school children of Hong Kong and is now a featured event in the Hong Kong calendar attracting children from all walks of life. The Malibu Foundation and Spectral Q from California have been creating educational and environmental awareness events on the beach for 20 years, with tens of thousands of participants.According to the Malibu Foundation and Kids Ocean Day founder and executive director Michael Klubock, “Our program is about raising awareness to facilitate behavioral change.Throughout the year, we have taught students that beneath the surface of the ocean, animals are being impacted by our actions on land, sometimes eating plastic, gettingtangled in nets, and being impacted by pollution. Today, we took them to the beach for more education and beach appreciation to bring engagement around preservation.”

The goal of this event is to raise awareness and understanding about the health of the ocean and it’s ecosystem to Hong Kong’s youths. This unique program started with a drawingcompetition within both local and international schools. The winning picture (a design based on the theme “What Does the Ocean Have to Say?” encapsulating the message ofocean protection) was created on the beach by over 800 children – the next generation of ocean ambassadors. “Today the children have spoken out as a group, using art as away of expressing themselves to initially create the shape of a shark which lost its fin. As a critical connection in the food chain, which regulates the health of the ocean, their image sends a message to all of us that sharks are important for our own wellbeing. The children who formed the fin, then joined their friends and peers in the main art display,creating a healthy and happy looking shark which signified their hope in protecting these animals,” says Doug Woodring, Event Organizer and Founder of Ocean RecoveryAlliance.

“The group aerial art experience encourages cooperation and gives voice to the aspirations and dreams of the students. It’s beautiful to see how these kids inspire others tocare for the environment with their creativity.” says artist John Quigley, the founder of Spectral Q and the Kids Ocean Day Aerial Art Program. As the lead sponsor of KidsOcean Day, Pacific Andes Group is proud to be a Hong Kong based seafood company, which has operations throughout the world involved in fishing, processing,distribution and sales of the full range of seafood products. “We are committed to the sustainability of our oceans which is critically important for food security and to the long term sustainability of communities in the future”, said Ms Jessie Ng, Executive Director, Pacific Andes Group. “We are very pleased to support Kids Ocean Day as anopportunity for young people to learn about the importance of caring about our oceans and the practical steps they can take to contribute”.

The goal of this event is to raise awareness and understanding about the health of the ocean and it’s ecosystem to Hong Kong’s youths. This unique program started with a drawingcompetition within both local and international schools. The winning picture (a design based on the theme “What Does the Ocean Have to Say?”, encapsulating the message ofocean protection) was created on the beach by over 800 children – the next generation of ocean ambassadors. “Today the children have spoken out as a group, using art as a wayof expressing themselves to initially create the shape of a shark which lost its fin. As a critical connection in the food chain which regulates the health of the ocean, their imagesends a message to all of us that sharks are important for our own wellbeing. The children who formed the fin, then joined their friends and peers in the main art display,creating a healthy and happy looking shark which signified their hope in protecting these animals,” says Doug Woodring, Event Organizer and Founder of Ocean RecoveryAlliance.

Kids Ocean Day aims to inspire children by:

Showing something that is loved (Beaches, oceans, animals, clean water) Giving reasons for loving it (Source of air, food, and recreation)

Showing damage being done to it (Entangled animals, dirty neighborhoods and beaches)

Showing how it is being damaged. (People littering neighborhoods and showing storm drain connection)

Giving people something to do about it (Reduce litter, recycle, do a beach cleanup, do a neighborhood clean-up)

We swim in the ocean. We sail on the ocean. We fish in the ocean. We walk our dogs beside the ocean. The sea pulls more and more of us to live by the ocean, with two-thirdsof the world’s population already living within 80km of the sea. Hong Kong’s biggest natural asset is the ocean, and with the Hong Kong Government’s recent fishing ban on trawling inall of Hong Kong waters, we now have an exceptional opportunity as a community to really bring our local ocean back to life. Already, positive results have been seen, showing proof that if we give the ocean a chance to heal itself, it is able to do so.

The focus of Ocean Recovery Alliance is to bring together new ways of thinking, technologies, creativity and collaborations in order to introduce innovative projects and initiatives that will help improve our ocean environment. This includes creating business opportunities for local communities when applicable, in order to address some of thepressing issues that our ocean faces today. The Ocean Recovery Alliance’s is one of the only NGO’s to be working with both the United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP) and the World Bank on their respective plastic pollution reduction programs. These include two projects announced at the Clinton Global Initiative (the PlasticDisclosure Project and the Global Alert platform). The group hosted the Plasticity Forum in Hong Kong in June 2013, as well as the HK-SF Int’l Ocean Film Festival and OceanArt Walk.

The Ocean Recovery Alliance is a registered charitable organization in Hong Kong and California

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