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Sharjah: Sharjah Museums Authority (SMA) is conducting its annual beach clean-up campaign, under its social responsibility “Because We Care” initiative for the 13th consecutive year.

The event is part of SMA’s broad endeavours to support environmental conservation and to raise public awareness about marine pollution.

Its a joint effort involving waste management company Beeah Group, Sharjah Municipality, Sharjah Police, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Emirates Diving Centre, and the Sharjah Civil Defense Authority.

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It serves not only as a clean-up operation but also as an educational initiative, highlighting the importance of preserving the marine environment.

This year, volunteers collected 540 kilograms of marine waste from Al Mamzar port in Sharjah.

In previous years, the clean-up scheme has seen significant participation and results. In 2022, approximately 40 divers from Emirates Diving Centre, along with support from local government and private entities, removed 580kg of waste from Sharjah’s Al Majaz Waterfront.

The drive collected 606 kilograms from Al Qasba canal in 2021, 440 kilograms from Khalid Lagoon in 2020, and two tons from the Fishermen’s Port in Khor Fakkan in 2019.

Rashid Al Shamsi, the curator of SMA’s Sharjah Aquarium which leads the event, has discussed its goals and impacts.

Al Shamsi emphasised the scheme’s contribution to a cleaner marine environment and the development of a responsible community.

He highlighted the educational aspect of it, noting its focus on informing the public about the importance of preserving the marine environment.

SMA has also integrated educational programmes and workshops into its activities throughout the year.

These programmes, which include shows, workshops, contests, and more, aim to educate the public about the consequences of littering, particularly in marine environments.

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They are part of SMA’s strategy to enhance awareness about the impacts of marine pollution, which poses environmental, economic, health, aesthetic, and cultural challenges.

SMA recognises the crucial role museums play in raising awareness on various issues, including marine life conservation.

Through the beach clean-up event which is a key component of SMA’s commitment to sustainable living and marine conservation, the Sharjah Aquarium demonstrates how cultural institutions can contribute to societal well-being and environmental sustainability.