There are numerous incidents in recent memory of boats, yachts and just about every type of vessel you can imagine damaging the coral reef system. That, compounded by the problem of pollution and now the prospect of offshore oil exploration is making waves among environmentalists. Wafagua Nautical Safety Institute is one of the many organizations on a mission to bring awareness about the importance of preserving the reef and they started with the Pristine Sea Project. Today the WNSI held an award ceremony, marking the completion of a logo and poster competition that challenged high school and tertiary level students to use their artistic talents to send the message of conservation. Major Gilbert Swaso, the Managing Director of Wafagua Nautical Safety Institute, who also acted as the coordinator for the Pristine Seas Project told us what the judges wanted to see in the entries.

Major Gilbert Swaso, Coordinator, Pristine Seas Project

gilbert swazo

" What we were looking for is to get the participation of students from the secondary and tertiary level students to participate in demonstrating their knowledge of marine pollution issues and at the same time to use that knowledge to pass on a message to our mariners, the general public and other marine stakeholders not to pollute. Specifically, not to throw any garbage, not to have any hydro carbon whether it is the oil, any fuel from the vessel, not to throw any sewer and one of the other culprits is for people not to anchor within the coral reef systems. The poster had to depict these four areas for them to be considered by the judges."

Delahnie Bain

"And the logo?"

Major Gilbert Swaso

"The logo was looking at a design that would best depict pristine seas taking into consideration the clean environment and certainly the cycle that would ensure that the waters remain clean and pristine. What we will do is to put these same posters in areas like water taxi terminals, areas where the general boating public would go to fuel up so we'll have these posters in strategic areas where they will be seen and it will be passing on a message to the mariners and the general public for them not to contribute to the pollution problem that already exists. The poster competition first prize was eight hundred and fifty dollars, second prize was five hundred dollars and third prize was three hundred dollars. as it relates to the logo competition, first prize was five hundred dollars and second prize was three hundred dollars."

The winning logo was created by Edna Estrada from Muffles College while the poster that took first prize was the work of Raphael Martinez Junior of Saint John's College. The Pristine Sea project is funded by PACT.

Channel 5