Recently while conducting a field survey of the mangroves in Al Qurm Corniche in Abu Dhabi, two fellow students and I noticed how careless picnic-goers and fishing enthusiasts are about the surrounding ecosystem.

Elson Joy, Hijaz Ahmad and I found heaps of garbage dumped at various locations along the stretch of the Corniche.

The garbage primarily consisted of plastic bottles, paper plates and cups, plastic bags and even traces of campfires suggesting that people tend to leave behind their trash without disposing of it in the designated waste bins.

Mangroves are extremely helpful in holding the soil together, preventing soil erosion, and also act as a living buffer, minimising the effects of natural disasters. Such irresponsible behaviour not only spoils the scenic beauty of the area but also poses a hazard to the fragile mangrove environment.

People also need to take into account the variety of flora and fauna that the mangroves shelter.

These mangrove beaches are hot spots for birds like herons, egrets and seagulls and negligence could prove fatal for them.

We made an effort to clear some of the garbage and our school is also planning to organise a clean-up campaign in the area.

However, we do suggest the local authorities look into this matter and take the necessary steps to counter this problem.

— The reader is a grade 11 pupil in Abu Dhabi