Swimmers, surfers and school children are among those involved in highlighting the risks of polluting Jersey’s waters during Blue Fish fortnight.
The Blue Fish Campaign, run by the Department of the Environment, Eco-Active and Jersey Water, is a hands-on way of raising awareness about pollution.
Blue Fish fortnight, which takes place between Monday 31 March and 14 April, will target schools, businesses and the public in an awareness raising campaign.
It will kick off in Brook Street (off King Street) on Monday 31 March when members of the campaign team, plus some special guests, will be enticing shoppers to step into a pool of mock polluted water to illustrate the impact of pollution. Champion surfers, swimmers and sailors will be among those getting into the pool.
The campaign encourages everyday practices that reduce the amount of pollution reaching Jersey’s water via surface water drains. It also shows the impact of not disposing of chemicals like oil and paint properly, and how they can damage the environment.
The introduction of the water pollution law fourteen years ago has helped to reduce the number of water pollution incidents in Jersey and has resulted in an improvement in water quality across the Island. However a single pollution incident can still have a big impact on our waters, which are the source of the Island’s drinking water, habitats for many species of flora and fauna and support water-based activities.
British and European champion surfer Arlene Maltman will be among those braving the water on Monday. She knows from experience what a difference clean water can make. “I’ve surfed in France in areas where at times they’ve had to close the beach because the water is polluted. That’s not an experience I relished and it made me appreciate just how fortunate we are in Jersey to have clean seas. I hope that by raising awareness of good practice it can stay like that, but we all have to play our part in acting responsibly.”
Well-known local sailor Tracey Watson is also taking part. “I’m getting involved because we live in such a beautiful island with beautiful beaches and many of us enjoy the variety of water sports on offer. To keep it this way, it is crucial to raise awareness of protecting our waters from harmful pollution.”
To get the message across, the campaign will also see a large blue fish (the logo of the campaign) projected on to the wall of the energy from waste plant at La Collette.
The main focus of the fortnight is on awareness-raising in schools. In secondary schools, students will be asked to produce a news report on a mock pollution incident. They have been given TV footage of mock chemicals being poured down a drain at Rue de Près This drain discharges into La Baudrette Brook and then on to the Dicq outfall. The footage shows how the bright green polluted water makes its way through the countryside to the coast. The winning film will be shown on ITV Channel TV.
In primary schools, children are putting together presentations to get the message across to fellow pupils.