Cleaning of Čuška dumboka bay in Telašćica Nature Park after the great flood 2017 (2019-2020)

Cleaning of Čuška dumboka bay in Telašćica Nature Park after the great flood in 2017 is the name of the project which, in addition to cleaning the seabed of Čuška dumboka bay, included conducting educational workshops at the Elementary School “Petar Lorini” in Sali and an exhibition of photographs in Sali library.

Given the really long set of big and little things that we have successfully brought to an end at the end of the project period, let’s start from the beginning!

The beginning of the whole idea of ​​the need for the action of cleaning the seabed of the Čuška dumboka bay came from the sad scenes that we believe are still remembered by most. It was September 11, 2017… The day when so much rain fell on the entire Croatian coast that the water, creating rapids, carried everything in front of it for hours, flooding many homes, basements, buildings, etc. Within the Telašćica Nature Park, day to be remembered, because on that day the bay Čuška dumboka accidentally became an “underwater landfill”. Due to its characteristic shape and the proximity of inadequately rehabilitated landfills, the water rapids brought large amounts of waste, mud, sediment and earth into the bay, which inevitably threatens the landscape beauty of the seabed of this specific bay as well as the living world in it. In order to restore the stability of biological communities within the disaster-stricken bay and to prevent further degradation of waste found on the seabed, focusing primarily on plastics, one of the objectives of this project was to conduct multi-day cleanup operations. It is important to point out that several cleaning actions have been organized in the bay so far, but due to the large amount of waste in the sea that “sprouts” from the sediment every now and then, we still decided on these actions, which are very valuable to Čuška. Cleaning actions were held during September and October, in the post-season part of the year, in order to successfully remove any waste that came into the sea through nautical tourism, otherwise developed within the bay Čuška dumboka. With the help of employees of the Telašćica Nature Park and members of the UPA Rostrum Split and BIUS – Association of Biology Students, the members of the Society took another step further, thus approaching the goal of keeping Čuška dumboka bay clean again and returning to its old glory!

Following the time frames in the form of implementation of the desired activities, after several days of cleaning the seabed, members of the Society sat again in the student benches, but this time in the benches of the Elementary School “Petar Lorini” in Sali with the purpose of conducting interactive workshops tailored to primary school students. Their goal was mostly to inform the “young and youngest” about the values ​​and meaning of protected areas – because they still have one at their fingertips (Telašćica Nature Park), the issue of marine litter, how to reduce the use of plastic – especially products made of disposable plastic, opportunities to reuse and conversion and guidelines for proper waste disposal. The education of primary school students was conducted in the form of a tripartite program that included the presentation of three units whose subject matter was common – the marine protected area, Telašćica Nature Park. The topic of the first workshops was “Biodiversity of the Sea” where in two workshops more than 50 students participated in an interactive lecture, interesting games and a knowledge quiz, after which the most successful groups received special prizes. The topic of the second workshop was “Waste in the sea”, and the workshop was accompanied by games and a knowledge quiz and a real small waste monitoring where students – with the help of their mentors (members of the Society) – successfully sorted, identified and listed waste contained in three sediment samples collected on beaches in Zadar County. The third and last workshop was focused on reviewing everything learned with an emphasis on the activities that were conducted as part of the project in an area very close to the students – Telašćica Nature Park and Čuška dumboka bay.

After several days of successfully cleaning the seabed of Čuška Bay, a bay that suffered an indescribable ecocide, after the lectures and a series of happy moments that marked the time spent at the Elementary School “Petar Lorini”, the sequence of events was the preparation of an exhibition of photographs in the library in Sali . The exhibition was organized mostly with the aim of raising awareness of the local population, based on exhibited photographs that speak more than a thousand words, and were created during many cleaning actions in Čuška, not only those organized by the Society. It is the photographs of the administration that made it possible to permanently record the condition of the Čuška dumboka bay before, during and after the cleaning actions, and we consider them to be a strong visual tool. Also, the exhibition is, in addition to all of the above, a big thank you and praise to all participants who helped give the bay Čuška dumboka the opportunity to restore its former beauty.

Upon completion, we can only point out how satisfied we are with the realization of new partnerships and the strengthening of existing ones. With a smile on our face, we are waiting for the next cooperation!

Thanks to all project partners!

This project was implemented with the financial support of the Fund for Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency and Zadar County. The content is the sole responsibility of the Marine Explorers Society 20.000 leagues and under no circumstances can it be considered as a reflection of the position of the Fund for Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency and Zadar County.