Project Azraq Open House
Last night we opened our doors and welcomed the community into our home. After many months spent working behind a screen on planning, organising, researching, creating and dreaming it was a wonderful night to finally share what all the hard work has been about.
Our Bedouin seating area was full to the brim with divers, freedivers, tour operators, every nationality you can imagine and all ages but in our diversity we were all united by one thing…our love of and desire to protect the ocean. As I stood at the front and saw all the eyes looking back at me I saw in that moment our vision coming together.
During the evening we shared what we are doing and our hopes for the future. Therefore to ensure you don’t miss out I will also share this with you. Project Azraq has three core initiatives; reef monitoring, education and dive against debris. So let’s break this down… Firstly reef monitoring, every month we collect data on fish, invertebrates, coral and coral disease from 3 sites in Dahab. Our data is published to reefbase and is available to anyone on request from us. Why do we collect data…because the Red Sea provides a vital insight into the future of global coral reefs.
Education…we believe in the wise words of Nelson Mandela ‘education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’. Our team have developed a comprehensive marine education programme based on the species we are monitoring. By participating in the course, students can become more aware of the importance of the reefs, learn about marine life, the global threats to the reefs and what can be done.
Last but not least Dive Against Debris…Each month Project Azraq organises a Project Aware – Dive Against Debris in order to contribute to the global initiative for change. These dives improve the health of our ocean ecosystems through localized volunteer efforts and provide valuable information about underwater debris to help inform policy change. Already our data has been used to lobby for sustainable beach management laws in Sinai.
However we will not just sit on our laurels and we have many hopes for the future. Our key hope is to secure funding for two free places per month on our reef monitoring programme so local marine biology students can gain field experience in the Red Sea.
So now you are caught up on what we are doing I would just like to take this chance to thank everyone who has supported Project Azraq. Furthermore a heart-felt thank you to our community for taking time to visit us last night. Your continued support is invaluable.
Together we can protect the ocean and the future!
Written by Amy