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2019 | Wave of Change
June 29 @ 3:00 am - 4:00 pm CEST
Look after yourself, those around you, and your environment – we have one planet and we need to look after it!
1. The Concept
It all started when we came up with the idea for everyone to pick up 3 pieces of trash and hashtag #waveofchange
The Wave of Change is our way of empowering people to take action through extraordinary challenges we take on. We want to motivate people to be a hero in their everyday life especially to themselves.
This year 4 crazy guys and one incredible woman are swimming 35km around Gozo on the 29th of June to support this initiative.
Follow them on their journey including the grueling training, the laughs and the banter, but most of all support them in gaining awareness to look after our planet by collecting trash and hashtag #waveofchange #beahero
We came up with the idea of organising an awareness campaign which would advocate the reduction of the use of plastics whilst promoting the use of other natural materials whenever possible, and also with a specific focus on the effects of plastic and plastic waste in our seas – Malta is an island surrounded by the beautiful Mediterranean sea, yet it is taken so for granted that if we aren’t careful, we will only become aware of the damage that would have been caused to our seas once it will be too late to do anything about it. The importance of our seas cannot be stressed enough, both from a local and also international perspective; locally it serves a multitude of purposes such as for tourism, leisure, watersports, diving, fishing, trade routes etc.
These were the seeds for the inception of the “Clean Seas Campaign.” The Maltese waters, although crystal clear in their own right and even when compared to other countries, are still heavily polluted with plastic waste, and this became even more evident throughout our training for the swim around Gozo.
2. Why swim around Gozo?
The round-Gozo swim aims to present and promote 3 main aspects:
o Environmental Aspect – create an awareness about the amount of plastic waste and its reduction, with a specific focus on cleaner seas, marine life and marine ecosystems; a shift in the local mentality where currently the Maltese people do not give so much importance to their surrounding environment, but have an individualistic frame of mind whereby they are only concerned about their immediate surroundings within their own properties;
o Sports and Health Aspect- highlight the importance of leading an active, healthy lifestyle through sports activities for people of all ages, from children to the older generations;
o Sustainable Tourism Aspect – tourism is one of the main drivers of the Maltese economy, and the seas surrounding the Maltese Islands play an important role in this sector too. Apart from the positive economic effect that tourism has on Maltese society, tourism can also have some deletrious effects on the natural environment, especially the sea, and thus the aim is to also lead a campaign in touristic areas/beaches to reduce waste and the use of plastics in the tourism industry as much as possible;
3. The Clean Seas Campaign – Clean Seas Week 2018
The idea is that the swim around Gozo would be one event out of a number of events taking place during a week-long or weekend of events/campaign. Such events would consist of:
o several cleanups around Malta, with a specific focus on cleanups on beaches/close to the sea, and even underwater cleanups through dive teams etc., in collaboration with NGOs such as FAA, Zibel, Din l-Art Helwa etc.
o teaming up with several NGO’s to organise educational campaigns about waste reduction;
o teaming up with schools to organise activities for kids/summer schools, such as cleanups by the beaches;
o teaming up with Malta Tourism Authority to promote a cleaner, greener tourism by minimising waste in the tourism industry – beverages & food packaging waste, litter on beaches etc
o the swim around Gozo, which it is hoped would garner interest through promotion on media/social media etc to raise awareness about the issues mentioned above;
4. The Swim around Gozo
The swim around Gozo covers a distance of c. 35km, and would take around 10-12 hours to complete. Starting from Hondoq ir-Rummien, it is envisaged that the swim takes place on the 29th of June, depending on the weather conditions.
The swim will start at 3am, and the swimmers will swim clockwise around the island of Gozo, including swimming throughout part of the night, stopping briefly every to sip water and eat small portions of food.
In terms of logistics, the following would be required:
- 1 boat per swimmer, including 2 drivers and 2 helpers per boat;
- 1 mother boat to carry main supplies such as water and food, and keep said supplies cool especially during the daytime hours due to the high temperature
- 1 medical rib with two teams of two medical personnel each
If today we do not look after our seas and tomorrow we do not change the way we treat the environment…our children and generations to come will suffer.
Text Source: Wave of Change
Photo Credit: Kurt Arrigo Photography