The Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT) has worked in partnership for many years with Grootbos Foundation offering two marine lessons to the students on their educational programme. The Earth Rangers combines the content of their original Dibanisa programme and Food4Sport. The students, between the ages of 9 to 13, met Trust educator Pinkey Ngewu who gave a first lesson introducing the Marine Big 5 (sharks, whales, penguins, seals, and dolphins) of the Dyer Island ecosystem. The first lesson was held at the Trust’s key project, the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary providing the learners the opportunity to observe the penguin feeding – for some it was their first time seeing an African penguin. The second lesson was on ocean bound pollution and its impact on the marine ecosystems. Marine pollution is a real problem for our marine animals and the Trust sees this first hand. The Earth Rangers group headed to Danger Point for a beach clean-up and were joined by Shewana Surf Therapy group and the Grootbos Green Futures Ecotourism students. Statistics on the waste were collected to contribute to our knowledge of where waste may be originating from. The group of 22 adults and 20 youth covered 1km and filled four bags. The top items found were: Fishing line – 229 / Glass bottles – 76 / Plastic bottles- 61 / Bottle caps – 47 / Cigarette butts – 43 / Rope pieces – 41 /Strapping bands/cable ties – 39.
The theme behind the lesson is that we can all make a difference by the reduction of litter, the correct disposal of litter, and the recycling or reusing of items.