“We know that when we protect our oceans we’re protecting our future.”

President Bill Clinton

The oceans have it all: from microscopic life to the largest animal that has ever lived on Earth, from the colorless to the shimmering, from the frozen to the boiling and from the sunlit to the mysterious dark of the deepest parts of the planet. Oceans are an essential component of the Earth’s ecosystem — a source of biodiversity, food, and life. According to FAO, over 40 percent of the world’s population lives within 100 kilometers of the coast.

Project ‘Aquatica Wave 2’ was organized for the second consecutive year by the Rotaract Club of University of Sri Jayewardenepura with the fundamental goal of conserving ocean reserves while having a positive influence on life on land and beneath water.

The project was conducted in several phases. As the first phase, we launched a video series about real life threats that aquatic animals face. We released three videos on social media platforms which brought the stories of Tilikum, Obie the Walras and the Duncan the dolphin.

As the second phase of the project we did an awareness program for school students to celebrate the Global Recycling Day at Anula Vidyalaya, Nugegoda on 18th of March 2022. This initiative was carried out in collaboration with Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd and Eco Spindles (pvt) Ltd.

In the program we discussed the methods of recycling, impact of recycling on society and environment and the need to reduce, reuse and recycle plastics, how this issue affects marine life and few other interesting topics. With the aim of creating a ripple effect of our awareness program we organized an idea pitching competition for the students while giving them a chance to brainstorm and come up with novel solutions for different issues related to recycling and we encouraged them to take the message of recycling to their homes. 

As the third phase of the project, we conducted a nurdle cleanup on 17th of March 2022 in collaboration with Pearl Protectors; a youth-led marine conservation organization. With the participation of 43 individuals, along with Rotaractors and non-Rotaractors this phase was completed successfully at Negombo Beach, which was one of the most severely impacted beaches as a result of the X-press pearl ship incident.

As the fourth phase of the project we introduced a novel phase where we made the public aware of the concept of ‘Eco-brick bins’. An Eco brick is a plastic bottle filled to a specific density with recycled plastic. They can be used again and again as construction blocks. Eco bricks can be used to make furniture, garden walls, and other structures, among other things. It is a creative way of using the Problem as the Solution.

First we collected nearly 1000 plastic bottles by opening collection centers at the university premises. After collecting these plastic bottles, we did a workshop on how to create an eco-brick bin with the participation of undergraduates at the university including our club members. We also conducted a discussion on other uses of eco-bricks.

In the final phase we visited the Induruwa Sea Turtle Conservation Project & Sea Turtle Information Center Sri Lanka. The main goal of this center located in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka, is to incubate turtle eggs and release baby turtles into the sea, as they are classified as endangered species due to both human and natural pressures. We organized a volunteer day at the center with the participation of 27 individuals, including both Rotaractors and Non-Rotaractors.

With the help of Rapid Adventures Pvt Ltd, we were also able to launch the center’s web site. The website will assist the center in sharing information, obtaining more donations, establishing connections with various organizations, and attracting more visitors and volunteers. We also made a monetary donation to support the center’s operational activities.

Apart from the phases of the project, we released a series of articles about World Wetlands Day, Global Recycling Day, World Water day and World Aquatic Animal Day.

We are proud of the efforts we have made as a team to make a positive impact on life on land and below the water through our initiative. We are kept alive by aquatic life. If it perishes, we all perish. As a result, let us unite together in order to conserve aquatic life.

Written by : Rtr. Bhagya Ranasinghe

1 Comment

  1. Hasini Wijayasantha

    Nicely written


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