See the Sea!February 05, 2015

In 1988, The Marine Education Society of Australasia (MESA) came up with an exciting campaign. Seaweek was organised to make the public aware of the marine world. This crusade, happening during the final days of February and the first week of March, would be highlighted with activities that were informative and fun.

The ocean occupies two-thirds of the planet's surface, but little is known about what lies beyond the surface. Some will find it ironic, as there have been manned missions to the Moon these past decades. Robotic rovers have also been sent to Mars, while automated spacecrafts have been navigating around Jupiter and its satellites. These places are millions of miles from our planet, while the ocean is in our backyard. Creating an underwater vehicle is no less expensive. A device that can withstand enormous pressure is another thing to consider. (And let's not forget the people who will navigate it.) Last but the not the least, there's a fear of the unknown. There are gigantic cephalopods, whales, and strange-looking fishes. Other than those creatures, everything else is murky.

Let's wander the beach instead

MESA is passionate about educating the public on the fragile state of the marine environment. It's not surprising, then, that the themes relate to the protection of the seasides and its sustainance. Past themes include Caring for the coast (1993-94), Clean Oceans (1998), and Biodiversity - Protecting our Harbour of Life (2000).

This year's theme is "Looking Beyond the Surface". What to expect? Here are the possible activies that we can do:

Let's sail and swim. There are millions of fishes, dazzling in different shades of colors. Some are unusual in appearance, which can scare anyone. Then there are the familiar sights. (Dolphins, sharks, stingrays.) They are nice to look on the telly, even on the Internet. But let's not play it safe. We can only appreciate the beauty if we get up close. There's no need to be scared, as long as we're not ignorant about it.

Checking out the corals. This is the right time to visit the Great Barrier Reef. These natural habitat of fishes and other marine creatures are often overlook. Most aren't eye candy, but you might be surprised to know these places are teeming with life. Expect crabs. Watch out for sea urchins. It can be exciting, but make sure you won't be too close to some reefs. There might be a creature lurking behind, and some might be poisonous.

Enjoy the sun and sands. MESA wants us to not to be apathetic. But we must not be too serious for us not to enjoy the outdoors. It's our playground. Enjoying the surrounding. Make sure to bring a sunscreen. Wear a hat if the sun is way up. (Find a shade if possible.) Just look around and believe how lucky you are.

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