Sea education for children was the theme for this week’s Meet the Sea activities in Cala Bassa. An opportunity for children ages 6-12 to interact with many marine species and learn more about Ibiza’s rich biodiversity. We hosted the eager minds of students from Colegio Mestral and local organisation Child of the Wild.
What a delightful week it has been! Over the past three days we welcomed a total of 67 students in sunny November mornings during three-hour sessions that combined education and entertainment. The stunning beach of Cala Bassa provided protection from moderate winds and contributed to the learning experience with many species found below its surface.
Daily proceedings began with an introduction of Meet the Sea’s team and a snorkelling dive into the unseasonably warm sea to fetch local marine species. Our Posidonia Oceanica or Neptune grass is always a good place to start: the sea plant that surrounds the island and provides oxygen and food for so many species also protects the shoreline and sand beaches by softening the impact of waves. A sample of Posidonia with strong roots, green stem and spots revealing the presence of microorganisms is evidence of the good health of the plant in the bay of Sant Antoni.
The Sea urchin is a favourite amongst children who feel the tickle of the moving spikes in the palm of their hands and see the mouth and small teeth of the creature. Kids learned about the strong immune system of this species that sees them trough the harm caused by marine pollution. Soon after, a number of other marine species went through their hands in quick and fun fact-finding session: Sea cucumber, beadlet anemone or sea tomato, periwinkle, sand starfish and the marine sponge that bears a strong resemblance to sponge Bob.
We are always reminded during our “edutainment” activities of the importance of sea education for children: their expressions of delight as they discover and feel live animals, the inquisitive questions we sometimes struggle to answer, and the enthusiasm shown during the beach clean up! All these moments are a sign that perhaps this generation will do a better job of protecting our ocean’s than ours did.
We have been delighted to share so many great moments with all the children this week and want to thank María Fargas and Colegio Mestral’s director Antonio Olmedilla for trusting us with their students, as well as Child of the Wild for the fantastic concept they are conveying to children around the island.
Note: All marine species displayed during our classes are kept in a small aquarium for a brief period of time and promptly returned to sea in the exact point they were collected.