During the last month the Ionian Dolphin Project staff has been visiting some schools of our study area to raise awareness among the local children about cetacean conservation and the importance of preserving healthy marine ecosystems. Support materials (i.e. informative leaflets and a a video documentary), produced in the context of the “Thalassa Project: Learn, Act, Protect/Awareness, Educational and Participation Campaign for Marine Mammals in Greece”, were kindly provided by our colleagues of WWF-Greece. An almost real-size inflatable bottlenose dolphin granted to the IDP in 2008 by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) was also used. School presentations in Lefkada have been carried out in collaboration with LAWS (Lefkas Animal Welfare Society).
Children of the different schools we visited have been encouraged to produce drawings and other art works inspired on what they learnt during these educational events. Their work will be presented to the local community during a Dolphin Day celebration that will be organized this Summer and the best “pieces” will be also in exposition on our website.
The latest of this presentations took place this morning in Vonitsa and had an audience of about 300 children between 6-12 years of age from the 1st and 2nd Primary School (visit the education photo gallery). It has been very interesting and highly motivating to listen to the children’s perception about marine conservation issues and to see them react quite sensitively to the problems faced by cetaceans in the Greek seas. The school term is finishing this week so this will be it by now. However, we have already started to organize ourselfs to take the IDP back to the classrooms in September!