Sandwatch begins in Nanjing
This is a message to report back regarding our successful completion of Peninsula Outdoor School’s first Sandwatch program.
We hosted a group of 30 Grade 12 students and 4 teachers from Nanjing International School for 5 days at Twin Moon Bay on the Dapeng Peninsula here in Guangdong Province, China.
The group was split into two groups and spent mornings learning adventure sports (ocean kayaking, Paddle boarding, snorkelling, and hiking) while the afternoons were committed to lessons on beach ecology, human impact and data collection taken from the Sandwatch Manual. Our Field Studies Specialist, Shannon Fox, an aquatic biologist, augmented the lessons with information based on her experience and training. Thursday’s session focused on collecting baseline data to add to the Sandwatch database. Friday’s session was dedicated to a shoreline cleanup along a section of the shore impacted by heavy tourism use; in total the group collected 47 kilograms of shoreline debris.
Sandwatch online training videos now available in Chinese
Sandwatch to begin at Peninsula Outdoor School, China in 2015
In the final quarter of 2014, China overtook the United States to become the world’s number one economy. This landmark is one of many set as China’s wealth and power continue to grow at a rate never before seen in history. This development has brought with it much good: Higher wages, improved job security and a better standard of living for China’s 1.4 billion citizens. Unfortunate victims of this unprecedented growth have been China’s forests, rivers and coastlines. Increased demand for resources like hydroelectric power have led to massive infrastructure projects that disrupt habitats and create pollution. As China continues to surge forward, decisions about environmental protection and restoration are crucial to the long-term survival of the country’s vast natural resources and delicate ecosystems.
We believe that education will play a pivotal role in creating change in the way that China and its citizens understand and interact with their environment in the future. Our field study programs help students understand their interrelation to the natural world and how choices that they make every day can have longstanding effects on their environment. We can think of no better way to help communicate the real-world impact of consumerism than to place participants among these ecosystems as observers and learners and to educate them to understand what they see happening around them.
We are excited about incorporating Sandwatch into our coastal studies programs and how the data being collected and analyzed will help boost coastal research efforts around the world. Our goal is to help influence the future generation of China’s citizens and leaders to be champions for the protection and restoration of their ecosystems, and we look forward to making Sandwatch a part of our efforts.
Erick van Til, Co-founder, Peninsula Outdoor School