Saturday, 21 October, 2017
Update
   Govt hikes salary of GMC lecturers from 55k - 95k & Assistant Lecturers from 45k to 80k per month   CM Parrikar asks RTO clarification on dumping important documents on roadside, to file case for dumping garbage on highway   RTO'S MAKESHIFT OFFICE ALONG THE OLD GOA BY-PASS ROAD   Sign lease pacts with CCP at the earliest: Mayor to market tenants   ST strike: KTC suspends bus trips to Maharshtra   Goan disability activist wins national award   First pvt ferry services to begin from Nov   Late rains, chocked drains spell doom for farmers in Aldona

Where’s that crystal clear water?

While divers and concerned groups conduct regular clean ups of Grande Island off Vasco, in view of the size of the island and its surrounding waters, concerned groups have come together to organise a underwater and beach clean up exercise, on April 30

Story: karsten miranda | 21st April 2017, 05:40 Hrs


Grande Island is a popular spot for picnics, boat rides and underwater diving activities. While everyone talks about the island for its picturesque setting , underneath the surface, literally, underneath the water, is a sight no one wants to see.
There was a clean up exercise last year by an NGO called Coastal Impact, that pulled out almost sixty bags worth of bottles, plastic, foil and miscellaneous waste. And, that’s just from the areas on and around the island, they able to access.
This year, on April 30, there will be another underwater and beach clean up that will start from Nerul Jetty at 8 am.
 From there,they will head by boat to Grande island, and those who can dive, will do the underwater clean up and those who cannot will conduct the clean up on the beach of the island.  
Coastal Impact,  a marine conservation NGO established by Venkatesh Charloo, who runs Barracuda Diving India, has been doing this clean up for years, and every year they get local community members involved, to help people understand that they need to take responsibility for their natural heritage and protect it. 
The idea behind creating the NGO, was to promote awareness about marine conservation and research and it has been doing the underwater and beach clean up at Grande Island, Goa, annually for the past decade and more. 
In any case, most divers do attempt to bring back trash that they notice underwater, on most occasions, but through the the annual clean - up, they work towards involving public participation, as this helps raise awareness about why its important to keep our coral reefs and ocean, trash free.  
This exercise, that coincides with the fag end of the tourism season, aims at cleaning and maintaining the coral reef and raising awareness.  
 Terra Conscious, a company that promotes ethical and responsible tourism, has collaborated with Coastal Impact for this. 
Puja Mitra, one of the founders of Terra Conscious had earlier worked with WWF-India and during that tenure, a study had been conduced  on the impact of tourism on marine ecosystems, that further confirmed the presence of garbage at the site. 
“The main causes as revealed by the study, was opportunistic dumping from picnic boats, plus garbage flowing down from the coast. It is beyond obvious, that a fragile ecosystem like Grande island, is reeling under this continuous onslaught, not to mention it degrades the tourism quality of the site. Who would want to picnic or dive surrounded by trash?” said Puja. 
The group also hopes this clean up exercise will encourage the government, to regulate the trash being taken by picnic boats to the island, and ensure, that operators do not dump or allow tourists to dump trash, at this eco sensitive area.
She added that the the government has been given detailed recommendations by WWF-India, including training being held with boat operators, but enforcement is yet to happen. 
The group is concerned about the effects of marine trash and point out that it not only affects marine wildlife but it degrades the quality of the site and causes pollution. 
“Micro plastics are ingested by the fish, and finally end up in our system when we consume the fish, causing a health risk,” said Venkat.  
The core organising team believes that an effective solution to this problem is, if the govenrment and local communities work together with a strong commitment,  along with proper enforced regulation.
Venkat added that the community led clean up exercise  is a reactive action to the immediate problem of the garbage littering the reef and beach. 
“Garbage needs to be brought back by the picnic boats taking bottles and food items there, segregated and properly disposed/recycled on land,” Venkat added, while talking about what needs to be done in the long term.  
“We can all enjoy nature and natural spaces, without destroying them through our activities. Its this spirit of responsible tourism that both Coastal Impact and Terra Conscious intend to promote through this activity and other initiatives that we respectively take up across the year,” added Puja.

Related news

The call of the mountains

Climbing to the Everest Base Camp, Kalapathar, at the elevation of 18,514 ft. with oxygen level dropping down to 50 per cent, is indeed, a breath-taking voyage towards no man’s sky and tranquillity, admits Durgadas Parab and his team at Goa Eco Treks Read more

Thoughts to images with each brush stroke!

The students of Santo Minguel High School, Taleigao gave their school a colourful makeover recently under the guidance of art educator, street and mural artist Ruchin Soni Read more

join The FC Goa family!

With the new season just over a month away, FC Goa has launched its official membership programme for fans. The membership programme called ‘Gaur Nation' offers members a fantastic choice of offerings available with different tiers of membership to suit every need. Read more

Top News

Bastora underpass to miss yet another deadline

The overbridge along NH17 cum underpass at Bastora was expected to be thrown open by Dec-end; New deadline set for March 2018 Read more

Govt unveils one-time benefit scheme for freedom fighters

Applicants to be settled after written undertaking n Freedom fighters once settled will not be eligible for pension Read more