Last Tuesday at the AWARE Center (http://www.aware.com.kw/), I attended a lecture by Dari Al-Huwail, entitled “Guardians of the Sea: Protecting and Rehabilitating the Marine Environment”, a topic that is very much overlooked here in Kuwait. Dari is a volunteer for The Kuwait Dive Team (http://www.freekuwait.org/). Make sure to visit their website and see what they have achieved up until now. You can also visit their YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/kuwaitdiveteam?feature=watch

Here is one of their numerous videos demonstrating what their volunteering consists of and how exactly they are helping the marine environment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApH3Yp89kQ8&list=UUbFjlYTwNu5XJe_KrJtdegQ&index=2&feature=plcp

I was utterly amazed and impressed with this team’s accomplishments and discoveries. One of them was that they discovered a wide scale bleaching occurrence of the coral reefs on the shores of Um Al-Maradim Island southeast of Kuwait. This led to dead fish being found on the water surface, or laying between the coral. Dari mentioned that during one of their beach clean-ups in Doha, they’ve also found dead mice and rats.

The team has also conducted coastal clean-up operations, lifted sunken boats and yachts as well as tons of fishing nets and harmful waste from coral reefs. The lecturer mentioned that they’ve also been installing buoys to protect coral reefs from destruction of the boat and/or ship anchors. I was pleased to hear that one of their operations was to rescue marine creatures.

The Kuwait Dive Team also works on uplifting salvage and harmful nets from the sea. What was most shocking was when Dari mentioned that there were still explosives from the war in the sea which is extremely dangerous since some boat owners drop their anchors in the area where these explosives are.

I was curious to know where all the debris found by the team are taken, Dari answered that they are disposed of by the Kuwait municipality. Kuwait Dive Team gets support from oil companies as well as telecommunication companies such as Zain and of course, their work is supported by the government and the Amir, in addition to the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science. I was happy to see that the Kuwait Dive Team also involves children and invites them to volunteer during shore clean-ups for example.

Kuwait Dive Team is clearly striving to protect the marine environment of Kuwait. When I left the lecture, I felt that there is still hope, that there are still some people in this world who value the environment and take a proactive approach to protect it, especially here in Kuwait where it is much needed.

I was able take some pictures from the PowerPoint Presentation, you can view them here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/23688823@N08/sets/72157628849306027/

But you can also check out their Flickr photo sets here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/37553591@N07/sets/

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