Celebrating European Maritime Day and the beginning of summer, children in Galway were having a kraken time creating gigantic Kraken sand sea-monsters with the Marine Institute’s Explorers Education team, on Grattan beach in Salthill (21st May).
Over 150 children and families took part in building Kraken sand sea-monsters on five beaches around Ireland including Galway, Mayo, Kerry, Waterford and Dublin. With sighting’s made of these sandy beasts, some containing plastics from the shore and some three metres long, marine experts from the Marine Institute’s Explorers outreach team said, “many different deep-sea animals periodically wash up on the seashore, though these monsters were a little more fragile, and a bit sandy in substance,” said Dr Noirin Burke, Explorers support services manager from Galway Atlantaquaria.
“The Kraken legend is so engaging for children and adults alike. Today we have used the idea of a large mythical sea monster, which according to legend is found in the deepest parts of the ocean, to highlight marine life from the seashore to the deepest parts of the ocean. Building the Kraken sculptures from sand, seaweed and marine debris washed up by the tide, also highlighted the real monster of the sea – the rubbish found on beaches and in the ocean, as well as our carbon footprint that impacts on Ocean,” Dr Maria Vittoria Marra, Explorers outreach officer, added.
Maritime Day, which is organised by the European Commission, is fast becoming a key annual event around Europe that helps to raise awareness towards a healthy and prosperous sea and ocean.
“Congratulating the team in generating a wave of Kraken monsters around Ireland, reminds us of the importance of reusing and recycling where we can. Unfortunately, every minute of every day, the equivalent of one truckload of plastic enters the sea around the world. Celebrating our local seashore’s remind us of the joy we can have on the beach, but also encourages us all to think about how our actions impact the environment and ocean,” said Cushla Dromgool-Regan from Camden Education Trust and strategic manager of the Explorers Education Programme.
The Marine Institute’s Explorers activities are included in the European activities celebrating European Maritime Day, with over 600 events in 28 countries taking place across Europe this year.
The Explorers Education Programme is funded by the Marine Institute, Ireland’s state agency for marine research and development.