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________________________________________________________________________________________ Report of MTA Blue Flag Activities 2013 Pauline DIngli 1

BLUE FLAG ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVITIES AND PROJECTS 2013 Matrix with names all beach activities and projects............................................................................................................ 4 Blue Flag Activities and Projects 2013 ................................................................................................................................. 5 The Backdrop and Theme: ................................................................................................................................................... 5 Conservation of Maltas Marine Environment .................................................................................................................... 5 St. Georges Bay Activities and Projects ............................................................................................................................. 5 The backdrop ................................................................................................................................................................... 5 Conservation of Maltas Marine Environment Roll Up ................................................................................................. 6 Sustainable Coast - Roaming Exhibition ........................................................................................................................... 6 Sustainable Coast - Roaming Exhibition on St Georges Bay ......................................................................................... 7 Roaming Exhibition .......................................................................................................................................................... 7 Shark exhibition and snorkelling with Sharklab Malta .................................................................................................... 8 Waste separation games and races ............................................................................................................................... 10 Audit Demonstration of a typical Blue Flag beach ......................................................................................................... 11 Playing Card Games Project A reprint ......................................................................................................................... 12 Beach News Brochure 2013 ........................................................................................................................................... 13 Beach news Brochure for beach users every day on all beaches .................................................................................. 13 Mellieha Bay - Ghadira ...................................................................................................................................................... 14 August Meteor Storm at Ta Ciantar Tower Mellieha .................................................................................................... 14 Beach Dynamics ............................................................................................................................................................. 16 Code of Conduct Sustainable Management and Blue Flag ............................................................................................ 17 Coast to Coast at Mellieha ............................................................................................................................................. 19 T Shirt Painting ............................................................................................................................................................... 21 Marine fish on marine salt ............................................................................................................................................. 23 Marine fish on marine salt ............................................................................................................................................. 23 Turtle Release Ghadira Bay ............................................................................................................................................ 24 Golden Bay (Beach of Quality) .......................................................................................................................................... 25 Wildlife Rescue - Nature Trust Team ............................................................................................................................. 25 ________________________________________________________________________________________ Report of MTA Blue Flag Activities 2013 Pauline DIngli 2

Kids on the Coast ........................................................................................................................................................... 26 Underwater snorkelling Trails at Ghajn Tuffieha and Golden Bay................................................................................. 27 Snorkelling with Sharklab Malta .................................................................................................................................... 29 Adopt a Turtle lecture and certificate award ................................................................................................................. 30 Summer Solstice............................................................................................................................................................. 32 Qawra Point Beach ............................................................................................................................................................ 33 Sea bed clean up ............................................................................................................................................................ 33 Visiting the new aquarium ............................................................................................................................................. 33 Coastal Cultural and Natural Heritage ........................................................................................................................... 34 Animal Awareness A visit to Qawras Animal Park ..................................................................................................... 36 Animal Awareness: Pets Day.......................................................................................................................................... 38 Bugibba Perched Beach ..................................................................................................................................................... 39 Marine Quizzes and Water Park .................................................................................................................................... 39 Making Friends with Tuna .............................................................................................................................................. 41 T Shirt Painting on the beach ......................................................................................................................................... 42 Making the Best of our Abilities..................................................................................................................................... 44 Catch the drop: save water ............................................................................................................................................ 45 Fond Ghadir Rocky Beach ................................................................................................................................................. 47 Rocky Beach Management and Jellyfish Awareness ..................................................................................................... 47 Snorkelling with Sharklab Malta .................................................................................................................................... 48 The Code of Conduct for Beaches .................................................................................................................................. 50 Jellyfish Awareness ........................................................................................................................................................ 51 Project of marine plastic underwater cards................................................................................................................... 52 Desk Calendar Flora and Coastal Castles ....................................................................................................................... 52

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Swimming with the Tuna

Matrix with names all beach activities and projects

BEACH MELLIEHA

ACTIVITY 1 August Meteor Storm

ACTIVITY 2 Beach Dynamics

ACTIVITY 3 Sustainable beach Management

GOLDEN BAY

NT Wildlife rescue

Kids on the Coast

Booklet on Marine species Coastal Cultural & Natural Heritage T Shirt painting on the beach Code of Conduct awareness

QAWRA

Sea Bed Cleaning

The Aquarium

ACTIVITY 4 Coast to Coast Ghadira to Golden Bay Underwat er snorkellin g trails Flying free at the Bird Park

ACTIVITY 5 T Shirt painting on the beach Snorkellin g with Sharklab Animal Awarenes s Pet day at school Catch the Drop Save Water Project plastic fish cards

ACTIVITY 6 BEACH NEWS

ACTIVITY 7
BEACH LIBRARY

ACTIVITY 8 Marine fish on Marine salt

ACTIVI TY 9 Turtle releas e

BEACH NEWS

BEACH LIBRARY

BEACH NEWS

BEACH LIBRARY

BUGIBBA

Marine quizzes and Water Park Rocky Beach Manageme nt Conservati on of Maltas Marine Environme nt

Making friends with Tuna Snorkellin g with Sharklab

FOND GHADIR

Making the best of our abilities Jellyfish awarenes s

BEACH NEWS

BEACH LIBRARY

BEACH NEWS

BEACH LIBRARY

SAN GORG

Roaming Exhibition - Coastal Land-Use

Beach exhibition by sharklab

Wasteserv e beach games

Beach Audit Demo by Nature Trust

Project reprint of natural flora playing cards

BEACH NEWS

Project Flora and Castles calendar 2013 BEACH LIBRARY

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Blue Flag Activities and Projects 2013 The Backdrop and Theme: Conservation of Maltas Marine Environment St. Georges Bay Activities and Projects
The theme for 2013 Blue Flag was taken from the Europeam Maritme Day Conference held at Valletta Malta during May. The theme also continued to strengthen the Care for Nature campaign started in 2012 in an effort to create awareness with the general public to take care of the natural biodiversity, habitats and the environment in general. This

year special focus was concentrated on the marine environment as reflected in the

backdrop presented on this page. 1. The backdrop is 2 metres high and was assembled in 90% of the activities organised on the beaches and elsewhere. The central photo represents the coastal

environment; the top photos represent the marine fauna while the row of photos at the bottom, represent the marine flora of the littoral parts of the coast. The first activity held was also to commemorate the European Maritime Day and the event was held on the official days of the Conference, reserved for public events. It was held at St. Georges Bay, being a bay that received the

certification of excellence for achieving the Blue Flag Award for five consecutive years. ________________________________________________________________________________________ Report of MTA Blue Flag Activities 2013 Pauline DIngli 5

Project or Activity 1 St Georges Bay The name of the Conservation of Maltas Marine Environment Roll Up activity The goal of the Create awareness on the Marine environment within a campaign Care for Nature activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples General Public A healthy marine environment; A healthy community. The Theme of the Summers activities on a roll-up and used as a backdrop for all activities.

Five-year certificate awarded to St Georges Bay

Activity / Project 2 St Georges Bay The name of the Sustainable Coast - Roaming Exhibition activity The goal of the Exhibiting practices that have a minimal negative impact on the activity marine environment Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples General Public Encourage sustainable use of the coast Roaming Exhibition Diving, sailing, salt works, bathing and informative nature walks

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Sustainable Coast - Roaming Exhibition on St Georges Bay Roaming Exhibition A further six panels, also two metres high, were created for the occasion and to be displayed during activities on all beaches being managed by MTA. The themes for such panels focused mainly on the sustainable use of the coast, namely; 1. Swimming and water sports 2. Diving 3. Sustainable fishing 4. Traditional salt works 5. Coastal flora and fauna 6. Coastal cultural and natural heritage

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Activity 3 St Georges Bay The name of the Shark exhibition and snorkelling with Sharklab Malta activity The goal of the Although in Malta we do not encounter certain species, they still form activity part of the marine environment and needs to be protected. Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples General public Learning about the species will create awareness of their importance in the equilibrium of the Mediterranean environment Real life examples and photos Unborn babies in jars, shark eggs, jaws and information books

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3. St. Georges Bay Marine Display on the beach by Sharklab Malta Distribution of information helps people understand better the environment and what best practices preserve life. Divers collected fish skeletons, bones, teeth, shells, egg cases and other tangible material that students can learn with. These exhibits were displayed in an activity at St Georges Bay, for the beach users and invitees to enjoy. The display was further enhanced by information panels that explained most items in further detail. A snorkelling activity was held at St Georges Bay to highlight the value of the Posedonia oceanica in the Mediterranean Sea. Although a sandy beach, St Georges Bay hosts an important habitat for fish to breed in, maintaining the ecosystem and the biodiversity of the area. These positive effects are explained to beach users before every snorkel session. Following these sessions beach users say that they changed their perception regarding the dark-looking patches at the sea bottom.

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Activity 4 St Georges Bay The name of the Waste separation games and races activity The goal of the Help the children understand the importance of recycling at source activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples Children 8-11 Separated waste can be reused and decreases unhealthy fumes at waste tips Races, games, quizzes

4. Waste separation games and races Waste separation on beaches is a topic that finds its way in all MTA activities, encouraging people to separate waste at source. Fun races were organized for the children to understand the concept better and to convey the message within their respective families.

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WHAT TO PUT
Letter writing paper, printed paper, photocopies, envelopes, newspapers, magazines, catalogues, directories, cardboard boxes (flat folded)

WHAT NOT TO PUT


Used tissues and napkins, wet wipes, nappies, cellophane, adhesive tape, labels and stickers, waxed paper e.g. milk cartons and juice packets, used paper cups and plates

PRODUCTS AFTER RECYCLING


Recycled toilet paper, tissues, recycled paper. Can be composted.

Clean containers for shampoos, liquid soaps, detergents and cleaning agents, clean cups and margarine, drinking bottles, plastic caps, yogourt cups

Wrappers and containers contaminated with food, bottles still containing materials e.g. cleaning agents, used cling film, bulky plastic items, lighters

Recycled stationery, boots, rain coats, plastic containers, garden furniture

Preserving jars, containers, water, China, corks, lamps and light wine and spirit glass bottles bulbs, mirrors, window panes, vases

Recycled glass containers. In Malta we are reusing glass with concrete mixture, tiles and asphalt

Aluminium cans, tin cans (clean), Bulky metal waste, batteries, Auto parts, bicycles, metal sinks metal caps and lids (e.g. from jars soiled foil, food cans that are not and bottles), spray cans (empty) empty, paint and oil cans that are not completely empty

Activity 5 St Georges Bay The name of the Audit Demonstration of a typical Blue Flag beach activity The goal of the For students to be aware of the standards expected on a Blue Flag activity managed beach, the criteria to abide with. Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples Teenage students A guide for beach users Demonstration

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5. Audit Demonstration of a Blue Flag beach Nature Trust Malta organised an activity at St. Georges Bay to demonstrate how a good audit on a Blue Flag beach is to be performed. Students and beach users followed the demonstration and checklist of a good managed beach for its sustainable use and towards a healthy coastal environment. On 20th August 2013, a group of Systems of Knowledge students doing their project with Nature Trust (Malta) met at St. George's Bay, St. Julians for an overview of the Blue Flag Certificate. Entitled Behind the Scenes on a Blue Flag Beach, this event was led by Zachary Engerer from NTM and served as an eye opener as to what goes on during a Blue Flag audit and the efforts beach supervisors and beach managers take to maintain a beach in a perfect state. First of all, students were shown the various notice boards on site and this was followed by a detailed analysis of the audit sheet where a number of details were pointed out, such as updated water quality reports, the meanings of the flags, the upkeep of various facilities and the work of a lifeguard. During this event it was evident that many aspects of a beach were taken for granted and all students appeared to appreciate the work carried out by the managers. One observation that was common across the board was the major differences that can be seen in a Blue Flag beach and one that is not. 6. Playing Card Games Project Activity 6 St Georges Bay The name of the Playing Card Games Project A reprint activity The goal of the To distribute information and visuals on the natural beauty of the flora activity of the Maltese Islands. Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples General Public participating in MTA activities These is no such thing as weeds only natural flora species Printing of playing cards and organising educational games Getting children to read the names in two or three languages

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A reprint of the playing cards Wild Flora of the Maltese Islands, in three languages, was done and school activities included the explanation and identification of the flora on the cards. One activity was specific on the flora species of the Maltese Islands and all participants were guided with the research on the cards. Explanation as to what habitats they belong to and time of year to expect them was explained and extra care is to be taken in fields and on the garrigue. The children and participants of Blue Flag activities are encouraged to keep to path networks when exploring the countryside. The flora cards were exported to other countries.

Activity 7 St Georges Bay The name of the Beach News Brochure 2013 activity The goal of the Remind beach users of their responsibilities towards the beach, the activity marine organisms and other beach users. Encourage readers to participate in educational activities organised. Targeted group General Public The message of the Take care of the environment activity Method used to get Beach News Brochure available on the beaches the msg across Examples 7. Beach news Brochure for beach users every day on all beaches

Beach news brochure was again published this year highlighting the Blue Flag Scheme, the Blue Flag Awards for 2013, Sustainable Management, the beach code of conduct, the new snorkelling trails at Golden Bay and Ghajn Tuffieha Bay, Coastal cultural and natural heritage, some of the environmental educational activities for 2013, the activities theme for this year, a map showing the locality of the Islands awarded beaches and finally encouraging the beach users to keep their beaches clean and butt free and take care of the environment. The brochure was distributed on all the beaches through the Beach libraries.

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Mellieha Bay - Ghadira


Activity 1 Gadira Bay The name of the activity August Meteor Storm at Ta Ciantar Tower Mellieha The goal of the activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples Understanding a different angle of our environment: The Sky Adults The sky is part of our environment and can also be effected negatively with bad practices Astronomers explained the beauty of the star lit sky through telescopes, and the hazards that can spoil it Light pollution, damaging the ozone layer etc

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1. August Meteor Storm at Ta Ciantar Tower Mellieha The event was attended by around 65 persons and included a guided walk along Majjistral Park. The people walked from the car park with the Park guide who explained about the biodiversity of every pocket of land. A visit and explanation on organic farming at Majjistral eco-farm followed. A vegetarian dinner in the fields of the Eco-Farm was organised and followed by a two hour astronomy observation session. An in depth explanation on the night sky and the Perseid meteor shower seen through 3 telescopes was the highlight of the evening which lingered on well into the night. The peaceful surrounds under the star lit sky was enjoyed by all and a repeat of the activity was requested. The activity was repeated the day after

Photo John Portelli

Photo Christian Falzon

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Activity 2 Gadira Bay The name of the activity The goal of the activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples

Beach Dynamics To show impact on sea currents through certain anthropogenic activities Danish Group Anthropogenic interference with nature may offer undesired results Shown beach after human interference, shown another beach with mitigation measures applied Xemxija Bay now and St Georges Bay now

2. Beach Dynamics A day activity for this Danish Group of students, residing at Mellieha Holiday Centre, started with a short tour of the Ghadira Nature Reserve, where they walked along the road surrounding the wetland and they could see certain species that reside in the area. They were also given a brief on the flora that bounds in the area. The group was also presented with printed material to pass on the information that they learnt.

St Georges Bay after replenishment

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Beach processes analysis was held with the group. Afterwards they were taken to St. Georges Bay where the beach was in exactly the same state as a few years ago. The students could see the beach replenishment project developments and the final results, becoming a successful 24 hour beach enjoyed by everyone. The main message was that once the equilibrium of the beach processes was tempered with, the resulting effects may not be pleasant. Furthermore, once the problem was tackled in a professional manner, the problem could be reversed to a certain extent. This is shown at St Georges Bay where some of the original sand returned and could be seen mixed with the imported sand. Furthermore, all beach processes returned to normal, with the beach hosting Posidonia oceanica debris throughout winter. This shows that the beach is once again a depositional beach rather than an erosional beach. The group was also taken to Bahar ic-Caghaq rocky coastline and later to Bugibba Perched Beach. Here the students could see an anthropogenic intervention where sand was deposited for socio-economic purposes without damaging the environment. All beach processes and sea currents remained the same. The beach is an erosional beach and to mitigate the effects, the sand is collected inshore during the winter months.

Activity 3 Gadira Bay The name of the activity The goal of the activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples

Code of Conduct Sustainable Management and Blue Flag Project of Sandy Beaches Ash Receptacle to keep beaches butt free General public mainly locals Awards do not come automatically but every beach user has to do his part in the upkeep of the coast. Adverts in the local printed media, explanations on Television and radio stations. The distribution of ash receptacles according to the beach necessities. Continuation of Butt free beaches as previous years. Cones for sand and ash pockets for rocky beaches. Adverts in popular, local magazines

3. Code of Conduct Sustainable Management and Blue Flag Beach Awards do not come automatically; the beach management is always on the look-out for new ways to convey the message to the general public to adhere to the Code of Conduct and to keep the beaches clean and risk-free. Adverts were published in the local printed media, interviews on television and radio stations and distributed different ash receptacles according to the beach

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necessities. The campaigns of Butt free beaches and waste separation on site, continued as in previous years.

Sand ashtray (cone)

pocket ash receptacle for rocky beaches

Ash Tray for access points of the beaches

ash cones for sandy beaches

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Advert published in magazines

Activity 4 Gadira Bay The name of the activity The goal of the activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples

Coast to Coast at Mellieha Walk across the island to see different species in their natural habitats Adults A short walk can offer an insight on the immense biodiversity that needs to be understood and protected Drs John Joseph Borg and Richard Cachia-Zammit gave an interesting overview of the area, the birds, the sounds of the bats by the dozens !! Comment: The walk was so relaxing. Participants also managed to see the rare Glow-worms, Hedgehogs, and Chameleons amongst other species

4.

Coast to Coast at Mellieha

Richard Cachia Zammit prepared the participants for bird-watching with a special aim to view the newborn plover chicks as well as the nesting Black winged stilts. The walk before sunset started from the northwest coast of Majjistral Park and crossed the narrowest part of the island to the northeast coast at Gadira Bay. Participants visited Gadira Nature Reserve which was opened in the evening for this activity. After visiting the hides with the expert birdwatchers the people waited in silence for the bats to start roaming at dusk. ________________________________________________________________________________________ Report of MTA Blue Flag Activities 2013 Pauline DIngli 19

The bats soon started whisking around in dozens and their minute sounds were recorded on the equipment supplied by the experts. The clear, silent night offered a great atmosphere for everyone to enjoy. A short night walk took participants back to the starting point. Many requested a repeat of this event. It was repeated the day after and 55 participants attended the event on two days.

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Sound of the Common pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) with a peak frequency between 42-50kHz Sound of Kuhl pipistrelle (Pipistrellus kuhlii) with a peak frequency between 36-41kHz

Bat sonograms recorded by Mark Zammit (bat expert John J Borg)

Activity 5 Gadira Bay The name of the activity The goal of the activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples

T Shirt Painting Increase knowledge on marine species, like the turtle and dolphin Children 8 -11 Although children may never see them in their natural environment the animals still need protection Session about the sea during classwork and T Shirt painting on the beach

5. T Shirt Painting This activity was organised with Mellieha summer school. The teachers were encouraged to create an animated lesson at school about the sea and the coast. An outing on their beach was then organised for the children to be closer to the environment that they had discussed. The children were given T Shirts, moulds of marine species and painting stuff to paint their favourite animal or coastal flower. This activity is one of the favourite activities for children and they participate

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wholeheartedly, in spite of the heat on the beach. Once finished the T shirts are hung to dry until they are ready to leave.

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Activity 6 Gadira Bay The name of the activity The goal of the activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples

Marine fish on marine salt Help the children understand the history and the geological processes of the beach. Children 8-11 Development on the natural environment Creating marine artworks on a plate Artworks with salt particles

6. Marine fish on marine salt Ghadira Bay was once a delta that developed into a salt flat and saline marshland. Nowadays it is a nature reserve and its habitat is a nesting place for a few species. The teachers explained this development and the reason why Mellieha Bay is named that way. The name derived from Salt Melh. The children were given plated, salt particles, powder colours and marine moulds. An expert in salt art showed the children step by step how to create their own artwork and landscapes.

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Activity 7 Ghadira Bay The name of the activity The goal of the activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples

Turtle Release Ghadira Bay Show the people that although the turtles are not often seen, they still need protection and sensible behaviour from everyone General public Healthy marine life, healthy community Rehabilitation of injured turtles and the release into their natural environment

7. Turtle Release Ghadira Bay

Several marine species are never seen by people, however they still need care and protection from the people. Keeping the sea clean and healthy will contribute to a healthier lifestyle of the community. The people were told of the hazards that turtles encounter in the sea and how to call for help if someone encounters an animal in distress.

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Golden Bay (Beach of Quality)


Activity 1 Golden Bay The name of the activity The goal of the activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples

Wildlife Rescue - Nature Trust Team Teach children about hazards to animals and rescue of the wildlife team Chidren 6-12 Not to throw rubbish in the natural environment especially the sea Saving and treatment of a dolphin (dummy used)

1. Wildlife Rescue - Nature Trust Team This activity was held in conjunction between Nature Trust Wildlife Rescue Team, Majjistral Nature and History Park and Blue Flag.

Nature Trust (Malta) Wildlife Rescue Team organised an activity for children aged 7 and over with parents. Children learned about dolphins and about how the volunteers of the team train in the case a turtle or a dolphin were reported in distress.

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Nature Trust (Malta) is creating the first Wildlife Rehabilitation centre in Malta as part of its Phase 2 project at Xrobb l-Gain Nature Park in Marsaxlokk and this was fund raising event towards the project. Around 30 people participated in the event and they had a talk on Marine Turtles, games for children, games on dolphins and a demonstration on how to save a dolphin. The demonstration was repeated by the children present. Feedback from the parents and the children was very positive and all participants enjoyed themselves and said that they looked forward for the next event.

Photos Esther Sammut Carbone and Annalise Falzon

Activity 2 Golden Bay The name of the activity The goal of the activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples

Kids on the Coast For children to be aware of the marine biodiversity Children 10 -14 and children present on the beach Identify Mediterranean Sea indigenous species Soft toys and prints on boards were produced and the children had to distinguish between them, while learning more about them Carretta carretta vs penguin

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2. Kids on the Coast

A set of marine species with their authentic colours were designed and printed in life-size for this activity. The fish were specifically selected from those that frequent most this particular beach; a sandy beach with scree slope habitats on the sides. An environmentalist gave the children information about each fish in front of them, and followed by a quiz on the subject. This session followed an information talk about the sand dune present on the beach and the flora and fauna that it hosts.

Activity 3 Golden Bay The name of the activity The goal of the activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples

Underwater snorkelling Trails at Ghajn Tuffieha and Golden Bay Possibilities of enhancing environmental knowledge while on holiday and relaxing on a beach everyone Discover the undersea habitats Printing of plastic booklet that can be worn during swimming, snorkelling and diving. The trails and booklets were prepared for two different beaches and the project was supported by Eu Funds.

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3. Underwater snorkelling Trails at Ghajn Tuffieha and Golden Bay Golden Bay is one of the most attractive beaches on the islands and frequented by thousands of beach users on a daily basis. Together with Ghajn Tuffieha Bay they were earmarked for an interesting project of the underwater sea search. Although the beaches are both mostly sandy, the impressive habit and biodiversity present beneath the sea are impressive. One would not think that snorkelling on a golden sandy bay could offer a live spectacle. This is enhanced by the different habitats including: a boulder scree, clay slope, sandy, pebble corner, and rocky headlands; all hosting different flora and fauna. The project of underwater trails was created by installing underwater signs to guide the swimmer from one point to another. The signs are supported by the plastic booklet that contains information about every habitat and what type of species one can encounter along that particular habitat. The booklets are on site on a daily basis supported by small signs posted close by for the people to be aware of them. They were a complete success, also due to the interest that group leaders showed with the organising of snorkel swimming.

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Activity 4 Golden Bay The name of the activity The goal of the activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples

Snorkelling with Sharklab Malta The children got the chance to see certain species while having the info on their hands under water 8-12 Care for the natural environment Snorkelling along the underwater trail

4. Snorkelling with Sharklab Malta Snorkelling is always an exciting activity on the beaches and every beach has its own habitats that offer positive experiences to those who seek them. Sharklab Malta are experts in the field and all children love an experience with them. Expert divers divided the children in groups and they took the people slowly around and explained about everything that they encountered. People were encouraged to indicate any species that they could see, for everyone to see and get to know something about it. This activity at Golden Bay, gave the participants the opportunity to explore different habitats in one activity.

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Activity 6 Golden Bay The name of the activity The goal of the activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples

Adopt a Turtle lecture and certificate award Create awareness towards marine life particularly turtles General public To adopt a turtle and indirectly help other injured turtles Organised a lecture and encouraged people to adopt a turtle and achieve a certificate for the adoption Adopt a Turtle lecture and certificate award

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5. Adopt a Turtle lecture and certificate award

Nature Trust delivered a lecture and a discussion about marine turtles, their rescue and the rehabilitation process which takes place every year especially around summer time. Nature Trust Wildlife Rescue Team has embarked on a project to create the first Wildlife Rehabilitation centre in Malta and Adopt-a-Turtle Campaign is another initiative that will help this project find its feet. This activity, held in conjunction between Nature Trust Wildlife Rescue Team, Majjistral Nature and History Park and Blue Flag, was held at the Radisson Golden Sands with 40 participants. These included locals as well as hotel guests. After the activity people were encouraged to adopt a turtle. Those who adopted were given a certificate and a soft toy turtle as acknowledgement.

Certificate awarded to Golden Sands Hotel who hosted the event and adopted a turtle

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Activity 6 Golden Bay The name of the activity The goal of the activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples

Summer Solstice Get to know more about the natural environment, not only during the daylight hours but also during the night General public Not everything goes to sleep during the night. Nights can offer good environmental experiences and the change of season offers a little extra. Sunset walk with a park guide who could explain everything that was happening around

6. Summer Solstice This activity was a sunset walk across a nature park, mostly on a network of pathways within a garrigue environment, around sand dunes and on a beach. The guide gave information about the ecosystems and the diversity of the flora and fauna between one system and another. Entering into the darker hours of the day gave the opportunity to encounter species that are not normally seen. The activity ended by observing differences in the summer sky during sunset and especially on a summer solstice night.

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Qawra Point Beach


Activity 1 Qawra Point The name of the activity The goal of the activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples

Sea bed clean up To teach by example General public present on the beach To let the sea bed species live in their natural environment A group of divers joined together to clean up the sea bed and show the public that what is thrown in the sea may be a hazard to nature Items collected from the sea were exposed for everyone to see. Few questions were made to the divers. Children were made aware of the hazards

1. Sea bed clean up A group of divers took the initiative to clean the sea bed from debris and rubbish that accumulated over the years. They were organised to make a systematic clean up so that nothing would be left behind. Once the rubbish was brought to shore, the divers explained to the general public that even if it cannot be seen, it could still cause danger to the marine habitat.

Activity 2 Qawra Point The name of the activity The goal of the activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples

Visiting the new aquarium Learn on the environment that is beyond and beneath the environment around us Children 8-11years Nature is balanced by species that we do not normally meet An aquarium guide was employed to show the children around the aquarium and explain what they could see Live Sharks

2. Visiting the new aquarium The children were excited to see the new aquarium for the first time and the surprises within. The guide explained how the aquarium was created resembling an octopus to make the least impact on the visual environment of Qawra Point. It was also created with all its walls representing part of the coastal heritage of the islands including; the traditional luzzu, the salt pans, the coastal temples and other natural features that dot the Maltese Coast. ________________________________________________________________________________________ Report of MTA Blue Flag Activities 2013 Pauline DIngli 33

The most exciting part was where they could touch fish in the touch tank and get a first hand experience with fish. They were all exiting shown from the questions that they kept asking. The guide was only too happy to answer their queries.

Activity 3 Qawra Point The name of the activity The goal of the activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples

Coastal Cultural and Natural Heritage Understanding how Neolithic people exploited their natural environment and products Primary School Children The environment can offer sustainable produce if treated right Took the children in a coastal Neolithic site, helped identify grasses of the time and use them for the benefit of mankind Use wheat to cook unleavened bread

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3. Coastal Cultural and Natural Heritage Mnajdra and Hagar Qim are two Neolithic temples in a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mnajdra has been declared one of 99 most endangered sites in the world due to its proximity to the coastal cliffs. The model below shows how the temples were built so that the sun on the equinox rises exactly in the middle of the main door, lighting up the main sacrifice altar on the innermost part of the temple in the Holy of Holies apse.
Mnajdra Temple Scale Model

For this activity the children were taken around the temples by a professional childrens guide who kept the childrens attention by asking questions on everything that she explained, being inside the Visitors Centre and also within the temples.

The children returned to the centre and another guide explained about the peoples way of life and what they probably ate. She gave them a recipe with seeds that were in existent during prehistoric times taken from a researched book on the subject. Together the children went to a specially prepared kitchen where they were assisted to make unleavened bread.

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Activity 4 Qawra Point The name of the activity The goal of the activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the message across Examples

Animal Awareness A visit to Qawras Animal Park To understand Biodiversity 8-11years old and their teachers Birds and all the animals of the park form part of a chain that together balance habitats and ecosystems Taken to an animal park, see the different animals and encouraged to paint what they liked most Most species are a rare sight for Malta and children loved caressing them while being informed of their living space

4. Animal Awareness A visit to Qawras Animal Park

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A summer school from the south if the Island, was taken for a morning at an animal park, better known as Qawra Bird Park. A guide was employed to take the children around and explain about each and every animal that they encountered. Every animal was called by name and the children quickly made friends with many of them. They particularly liked the swans that usually come to greet the children and the flamingos were also favourites with many of them. Although living in a park, all birds roam free and nest in the bushes of the marshland. The guide explained how to enjoy watching them from far and stay away from their nest to avoid stress to the parents.

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Activity 5 Qawra Point Bay The name of the Animal Awareness: Pets Day activity The goal of the Love animals and treat them like part of the family activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples Children 8-11 Animals are better left in their natural environment. But if a family decides to adopt a pet, then one must learn how to keep it. Invited children with pets at school and explain what it takes to keep a pet happy.

5. Animal Awareness: Pets Day Animal awareness day is celebrated in Malta in Mid-August. To make the children aware of the day, an activity was created, in conjunction with a summer school where the children were invited to bring their pets to school and bring along with them a poem or a story about their pet, describing what it eats, how they feed it and what the pet likes most. The children played with each others pets and started asking questions. It was here that they were put in a circle and started reading their work. Some were extremely original and good.

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Bugibba Perched Beach


Activity 1 Bugibba Perched Beach
The name of the activity The goal of the activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples Marine Quizzes and Water Park Disseminating information on marine species Children 8-11 years

Fun games, quizzes and water park

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1. Marine Quizzes and Water Park

Bugibba Perched Beach activities started with Marsaxlokk summer school children competing in quizzes related to marine species that they had studied at school. Information included how to look for certain species while snorkelling and what plant species to look for when idling on the beach littoral. Mediterranean indigenous flora was discussed and species that can harm them if in contact with, were highlighted. Another quiz was related to Safety at Sea which was based on material provided by the Civil Protection Department. The questions this time concentrated on life jackets on pleasure boats and sea crafts. A third and last quiz involved questions related to the Blue Flag programme and beaches in Malta that fly the flag. It was good to realise that many children were aware of the beaches, the flags and also some of the criteria. The children were then taken to the water park, a few metres away to conclude the activity with fun games.

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Activity 2 Bugibba Perched Beach


The name of the activity The goal of the activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples Making Friends with Tuna Understanding larger fish in the sea General public Fish can be intelligent and act wisely Swimming with them

2. Making Friends with Tuna A group of adults were taken on a traditional Maltese Luzzu boat to an area where tuna fish are bred in net cages. On the way the instructor gave information about the different tuna fish that roam around the Mediterranean Sea and the species that the participants were about to see in the pen. Information included also the growth rate, size and weight, food and tuna fish markets around the world. Participants were allowed to feed the fish and to witness the panic of the tuna when food started appearing from many angles. The tuna surrounded the participants who loved every minute of the adventure. Due to the public demand the activity had to be repeated on another day with different participants, this time visiting a tuna pen in another location close to the islands.

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Activity 3 Bugibba Perched Beach


The name of the activity The goal of the activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples T Shirt Painting on the beach Know more about the marine environment Children 8-12 Find your favourite animals, know them and paint them Painting on the beach

3. T Shirt Painting

Another method to disseminate information about the environment is through painting favourite objects. Getting messy is something that all children love. The children were given a T shirt, painting stuff, fish photos and moulds, and let their fertile imagination reeling. Painting marine species on new T shirts is an activity children always look forward to. Some children who were on the beach joined in the activity too. Before starting they were all asked to mention a favourite animal or flower and give a little information about it.

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Activity 4 Bugibba Perched Beach


The name of the activity The goal of the activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples Making the Best of our Abilities Involve children with special needs in Blue Flag Activities in the best way possible Children with Special Needs Helping the environment with our individual abilities Everyone benefits from a healthy environment and everyone can contribute in his/her own way Love the flowers, trees, animals and beaches

4. Making the Best of our Abilities

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A group of 30, physically impaired children attending the Guardian Angel School were invited to participate in a Blue Flag event. The group was taken to a potters house, given a soft clay tablet, marine- related moulds and a ball of clay to work with. Some children had to be guided step by step while others produced amazing creations. The tablets were fired in the following days and presented to the participants at their own school. The administration of the school was pleased to see such results and commended the idea.

Activity 5 Bugibba Perched Beach The name of the Catch the drop: save water activity The goal of the Life depends on clean Water! Finding it easy in the tap can give the activity children the perception that clean drinking water is unlimited Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples Children 8-11 We need to save water now to be able to find it tomorrow Class games, quizzes, painting and creating crafts regarding or with water Given also printed material

5. Catch the drop: save water The project Catch d Drop was executed in collaboration with a team from a local bank who printed a number of reader-friendly booklets, paint books and rulers to explain to the children how precious clean, drinking water is and must not be wasted. The children had prepared 3D drawings at school and participated wholeheartedly in all the games prepared. Feedback was very positive. Printed material supplied assisted the children in conveying the message to their parents and family members.

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Charts prepared by the children

Material distributed

School that participated

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Fond Ghadir Rocky Beach

Activity 1 Fond Ghadir The name of the activity Rocky Beach Management and Jellyfish Awareness The goal of the activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples To make the local people aware of the Code of Conduct, Beach Management, Blue Flag Programme and Mediterranean Jellyfish Priority to the children of the area with an indirect effect to the families of the locality To own the beach and treat all its aspects with care Give verbal information and receive simple answers in writing in the form of a quiz with small presents for all Should we take our pet to the beach to swim with us? Should we catch crabs and leave them in jars? Should we touch jellyfish? A clear NO answer was encouraged

1. Rocky Beach Management and Jellyfish Awareness Beach Management is a relatively new concept for Fond Ghadir. Children from the area were encouraged to join in a few games and also to be made aware of the introduced code of conduct and the Blue Flag concept. The code of conduct was explained from the beach management information board and they were given reasons why certain rules have to be abided by for their own interest. Instilling awareness with the children may serve to disseminate information with their family members and friends. The children were also given information about the ecology, culture and coastal heritage of the area from the environmental information board present. Focus was also made on Mediterranean jellyfish in particular how to be identified, any particular feature of the jellyfish and how to respond to the survey and study being carried out by the International Ocean Institute (IOI). Mitigating jellyfish contact was also discussed. The children were then asked to answer a few simple questions on what they had learned.

Children answering a quiz on what they can and cannot do on a rocky Blue Flag Beach Children learning about jellyfish, creating awareness and how to help with the Spot the Jellyfish campaign

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Activity 2 Fond Ghadir


The name of the activity The goal of the activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples Snorkelling with Sharklab Malta Identify the importance that the shark species have in the biodiversity and the equilibrium of the seas. Help them understand the role of the flora species that they encounter during a snorkelling session. Nine to eleven year summer school children Animals that we may not like still help in the wellbeing of mankind Samples displayed for all to see and question Baby sharks extracted from eggs within dead fish. Pieces of skeletons and printed information and photos

2. Snorkelling with Sharklab Malta Sharks are species that most people are afraid of. But sharks are an important part of the equilibrium and biodiversity of the sea. Learning about them in a pleasant beach environment is a good way to get the children interested in what they are learning. The session included many other marine species including awareness on the role that plants have as food and in the maintenance of the clean bathing water quality.

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Activity 3 Fond Ghadir


The name of the activity The goal of the activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples The Code of Conduct for Beaches Making locals aware of the beach Code of Conduct and highlight its benefits for the general public The general public in particular locals The beach user have duties as well as rights Printing the Code of Conduct with the local language in a readerfriendly format Published in Local Magazines and Journals

3.

The Code of Conduct for Beaches

Printing the Code of Conduct with the local language in a reader-friendly format will help locals understand better their obligations towards the beaches and the environment. This advert was published in various magazines, newspapers and was posted on all MTA notice boards including on every beach.

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Activity 4

Fond Ghadir The name of the Jellyfish Awareness activity The goal of the Involving older children in the spot the jellyfish data collection for more activity success of the project Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples Young teenagers Studying issues regarding the environment will help the environment both directly and indirectly Distribution of information poster and intensive explanation of every photo

4. Jellyfish Awareness Getting older children to understand better the Spot the jellyfish campaign can help in the data collection and the success of the project. Coordinators from the project, the International Ocean Institute, came to Fond Ghadir to explain to the group and do some games together to understand better the project. Participation will involve also their families and friends giving a better possibility for the project to be a success.

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Activity 5 Fond Ghadir


The name of the activity The goal of the activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples Project of marine plastic underwater cards Learning more about underwater marine life Chidren and teenagers Knowing better the environment will enhance appreciation Printing of researched cards and laminating them in plastic so that children can use them on the beach

5. Project of marine, plastic cards The booklets of the underwater trail were loved by many and this initiative was created for snorkel lovers that, frequent beaches where the trails and booklets are not available. Printing of researched cards and laminating them in plastic gave people the opportunity to learn about the environment during their leisure hours. The cards were distributed through the beach libraries and were used by beach users, in particular teenagers who knew about them and went to Fond Ghadir to use them. A diving school also made use of the said cards.

Activity 6 Fond Ghadir


The name of the activity The goal of the activity Targeted group The message of the activity Method used to get the msg across Examples Desk Calendar Flora and Coastal Castles Exhibit the beauty and fragility of the wild flora of the Maltese Islands General public in Malta and overseas To avoid trampling on garrigue and other habitats in the wild and to admire and preserve coastal heritage Creation of a desk calendar to remain in circulation all year round

6. Desk Calendar Flora and Coastal Castles This project involved the design and publishing of a calendar with good photos of wild flora species and coastal heritage, mainly castles, photographed for the project. Research included the botanic name of the plants and two other languages. The calendar was distributed to over 40 countries around the world.

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