The Environmental Conservation Studies (ENCS) team, along with the WWF Coastal Watch scheme, embarked on their first ecological and marine litter survey at Yuen Chau Tsai (元洲仔) this summer. 28 students led by Dr. Stephen Cartwright, lecturer of Division of Applied Science, surveyed the shore to determine what flora and fauna could be found at this mangrove habitat, and also to identify and sort out macro and micro debris from shore.
Using a scientific approach, the shore was stratified and randomly sampled to get an estimate of how much, as well as what types of rubbish could be found. At this shore, students found a lot of glass, food packaging, tissue packets, plastic bottles which made up a significant proportion of the debris. The data will be compiled and added to the master database from all teams across Hong Kong, to inform and educate the public on the amount and sources of waste entering our marine environment, often being transported from the terrestrial environment, either being blown into the sea, or washed out down the rivers and storm channels.
As part of the publicity for the scheme arranged by WWF, RTHK film crews took some footage of CIE students working on the shores, which was aired as part of their TV programme in early September. “The weather on that day was hot, the hours were long, but the students persevered to complete the study and finished off by spending some time to clear parts of the shore of more debris – packing it up and taking it to refuse location, where it will be transported to where it belongs and out of our natural environment.” said Dr. Cartwright.
To review the TV programme, pls click the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qkgEp4_dBo