Marine protection project in Indonesia
After much research I decided on this TropicalResearch and Conservation Centre (TRACC). TRACC is one marine conservation organization, dedicated to protecting sea turtles and restoring coral reefs devastated by dilocal fish bombing practices in Malaysia. They are based on the dreamlike Coral reef island of Pulau Pom Pom in the Celebes Sea in Indonesia. The small island has a circumference of just 2,3 km and is surrounded by a 4 km long coral reef. The island has a stunning white sand beach, sparkling turquoise sea and is an important nesting ground for Green and hawksbill turtles.
And so on this wonderful island I spent four weeks and together with many other volunteers and officials I helped with the cleaning up and protecting the sea.
The “life” there on the island - the accommodation in Zelten, an outhouse shared by all and very primitive outdoor showers without warm water. Only occasional working electricity. And I also had to get used to living with countless animal roommates on a daily basis and it was an absolute adjustment for me! But I quickly realized that I didn't need the frills and luxuries I was used to at home. And I liked the simple life more and more - in the spirit of "Back to the Roots". Instead of lying on the couch in the evening and watching TV, we all sat comfortably campfire. Sang, danced, hosted theme parties, hung in hammocks in the trees and even built our own natural pizza oven.
During the day we all pursued the same thing Mission and saved the seas. Everyone pitched in energetically. There were countless tasks and projects - whether on land or under water. On land we have all our island beaches by the ton every day Plastic and garbage free. And what bizarre things there were that people threw into the sea - unbelievable!
Dabei recycled we also some of the found stuff. For example, we used found glass bottles to build artificial "living space" for corals and schools of fish with the help of concrete, which we then finally installed under water in the sea. In many years, new, colorful coral reefs can grow again in these places housing and protection for many fish and sea creatures. So it was actively dived under water. We had three every day dives and freed the underwater world from garbage, rescued animals trapped in plastic and made scientifically based censuses of fish and coral stocks.
To the stock of turtles To secure them on the islands, we collected their eggs, let them hatch in self-built hatcheries and then released them back into the sea. An indescribable moment!
Once we went by boat to a neighboring island that is inhabited exclusively by locals. The sight for me was frightening! I have never seen so much garbage and plastic in my life. This wonderful island full of dirt. However, it has become a habit for residents to literally “choke in the garbage”. But it's not their fault. The garbage is new every day washed up and there are few ways to dispose of it. The government isn't helping either. For this reason, the garbage just stays where it is. And that's why we came with many boats to support, have in common with all the locals garbage collected and then following them bootwise Borneo brought to the main island for disposal.
The worst for me was: We collected garbage for a whole day, had countless garbage bags full that weighed several tons together, BUT the island and the beaches were just as full as before. I saw no difference!