Lilly Keating and her class from Riverstown National School were presented with a special Marine Institute Explorers Ocean Champions Award at the Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030 event held in Cork . The award was presented by Elisabetta Balzi, the European Commission Directorate General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission. Photo: Dominick Walsh

Decorations made from recycled plastic

A Cork national school has been presented with a special award for their ocean recycling project called Save our Seas’

Riverstown National School in Glanmire has created a healthy ocean project where the children created the schools Christmas decorations from recycled plastic.

They were awarded a Marine Institute Explorers Ocean Champions Award for their participation and outstanding achievement.

The Explorers Ocean Champion awards recognise the collaboration of children, teachers and the wider community working together to learn about the importance of the ocean and the unique maritime culture and heritage in their own area.

John Meade, the teacher who led the project, was delighted his school received the award. He explained that the school project Save our Seas was inspired through workshops with the Explorers outreach officer, Shazia Waheed from Old Cork Waterworks Experience.

“Shazia introduced us to the wealth of marine life in our oceans, as well as learning about many of the threats facing sea life, such as overfishing, climate change and pollution. With the focus on ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ and with Christmas on the horizon, the children created hand-made decorations from rubbish they had collected, as well as completed projects and posters. Every class in the school took time out to engage in the Explorers healthy oceans project, and have a new-found interest in protecting our oceans,” he added.

Shazia Waheed, Explorers Outreach Officer at Old Cork Waterworks, said: “We were delighted that an Explorers school were included in the European Commission event where stakeholders are working towards restoring our ocean and marine biodiversity.

“Being recognised at this event and to have the Explorers award presented by the EU Commission Directorate-General for Research & Innovation Elisabetta Balzi have made this a very special occasion for all of us. Her kind words and encouragement certainly provided added inspiration for the children and their love for the sea.”