As part of the Lebanon Water Festival mission statement since 2012 is the important issue of working to raise awareness about sea pollution and to work with various NGO’s and municipalities to implement measures to control sea pollution. From 2012 to 2015, the process was moving forward and in the right direction, until the whole country was hit by the garbage crisis in 2015. Since then the coastal cities became receivers of garbage coming down from the mountains and the cities, thus creating additional issues for coastal cities, including Rabbit Island.
Efforts have picked up again in 2018 and we are all working hard to raise awareness and provide support to regain a momentum in terms of sea depollution. Obviously, the issue is broader, but we focus on one part of it in order to ensure actions are taken.
As part of this objective Lebanon Water Festival, along with CMAS the World Diving federation, and the NGO- Operation Big Blue Lebanon are working together to align with the World coastal cleanup day taking place on the 15th of September on a worldwide level.
we have launched a national campaign via social media and our media relations to push the following individuals to join forces on that day:
- Individuals by telling them to go to their favorite beaches and picking up garbage on the beach
- The water sport community built since 2012 and who share the same values for the sea
- Co-organizers and beach front locations along the coast from North to South
- Especially diving and freediving centers who will endeavor to do the work under the sea.
The association between Lebanon Water Festival and the water sport lover community in Lebanon has generated actions along the coast going from Tripoli, up North, to the South of Lebanon. The following dive centers started underwater cleaning actions spanning over the week of the 10th of September and building up to the 15th of September: Maurice Abou Saad from XTDiving Pro Lebanon, Rachid Zock from Freediving Lebanon in Tripoli, Antoine Abou Jaoude from Narcosis in Jounieh area. In ramlt el Bayda Operation Big Blue is launching a large clean up day above and under water. In addition, the group of Stand Up paddlers from last Lebwf SUP National Cup race have expressed the desir to create a fun competition in Batroun where as they would gather as much garbage as possible using SUP boards. Jad Ghosn oversees this initiative. Ahmad Mustafa Farhat the SUP racer is also getting involved with a group of people in Jiyeh on the 15th.
As a follow up to the World coastal cleanup day, Lebwf has developed a campaign that should be posted along the coastal line that will entice people to throw their garbage in bins and not in the water or on the beach. The messages are positive and showcase the beautiful species from the underwater world in Lebanon and invites people to protect them. Lebanon Water Festival has beautiful images of underwater life taken during the photography contests in Lebanon. The challenge ahead will be to have municipalities post the campaign on beaches and set up garbage bins and collection.