Lisbon Oceanarium travels to Olhão to raise awareness about endangered seahorses
A shuttle from Lisbon’s Oceanarium has travelled to the Algarve to take part in the ‘Semana da Ria Formosa’ event and raise awareness about the estuary’s highly endangered seahorse population.
The shuttle arrived on Tuesday (April 17) and will remain at Olhão’s Jardim Pescador Olhanense until Saturday (April 21), giving schoolchildren as well as the general public a chance to learn more about how to become more “sea-friendly”.
The initiative is part of the ‘Let’s Save Ria Formosa’s Seahorses’ campaign promoted by the Blue Ocean Foundation, which aims to protect what was once one of the world’s biggest and most thriving seahorse populations.
The shuttle will be at the park between 9.30am and 12.30pm and between 2pm and 5pm until Friday for schoolchildren only, with Saturday being the only day open to the general public (10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5.30pm).
Joana Schenker, the Sagres-based bodyboard who won her first world title last year and was just honoured in Portimão last weekend, will be the special guest on Saturday and will be taking part in several activities, showing why she is also known as a local ambassador for the sea.
The Oceanarium shuttle was launched in 2005 and has already visited 198 boroughs across Portugal and passed its message onto over 240,000 people.
Its main goal is to “draw young people’s attention to the urgent need for a change in attitude, so that we can help conserve and protect our natural resources”.
Olhão school group awarded for ocean-friendly project
Olhão’s João da Rosa school group was distinguished last week with the Blue School (Escola Azul) accolade, which awards Portuguese schools that are ocean-minded.
The distinction was personally handed to the school last Friday by Sea Minister Ana Paula Vitorino due to the projects it has been developing to protect Ria Formosa’s wildlife, especially its endangered sea horses.
“It’s an honour for Portugal to have schools where teachers and employees are dedicated to creating generations that are ocean defenders; not generations that know how to use their phones very well, but generations that know how to appreciate the ocean they have,” said the minister.
She stressed that the school group’s 600 students, aged from four to 15, are the people who “in 20 years will be working to build a future for their very own children; a future that we want to be better”.
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