Join ‘Swim for clean seas’ and raise awareness of ocean health

Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort, 7am, Friday April 3

• Abu Dhabi ocean swim event designed to promote family fun and awareness of marine issues
• Four different swim distances to suit all ages – 200m, 400m, 800m, 1600m, with prizes
• Third annual ‘Swim for Clean Seas’ event offers crucial environmental advice, and a beach-clean up nurdle hunt

Anyone interested in preserving our oceans is encouraged to attend the third annual ‘Swim For Clean Seas’ event, set to be held at Abu Dhabi’s Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort on Friday, April 3.
Launched in 2018 by keen open water swimmers, brother / sister duo Felicia Agmyren and Almer Agmyren, ‘Swim for Clean Seas’ raises awareness about the importance of keeping our seas clean by engaging the community in fun, interactive activities – and a swim in the gorgeous blue waters of Saadiyat Island that we often take for granted.
Sponsored by leading Abu Dhabi-based boutique real estate company Rex Real Estate and SINOGULF Real Estate Investments, the event, which begins at 7am, also features speakers and marine biologists to educate the community in lively sessions about why we must strive to protect our ocean resources.
Speakers also include representatives of Azraq, the non-profit marine conservation organisation registered with the Community Development Authority in the UAE which drives the protection, defence and conservation of marine life in the UAE and further afield, who will be explaining the perils of single use plastics on our oceans and the life within.
Swimmers aged 8 and above, and people of all abilities, are invited to take part in the races, of 200m, 400m, 800m or 1600m. A social but competitive event, prizes will be awarded for an overall winner in each distance, as well as in each age group. Last year’s event attracted around 150 swimmers, so early registration is encouraged.
Felicia Agmyren, co-founder of Swim for Clean Seas and managing partner of Rex Real Estate, says: “The inspiration for bringing the event to the UAE capital was firstly to raise awareness of the decreasing health of the oceans, but also to raise awareness for the importance of keeping our seas clean.
“One summer while swimming across the Messina strait in Italy, my brother and I noticed changes to the health of the ocean that not everyone gets to see in their daily lives. We all know that the oceans not only cover 70% of our planet, but also provide around 70% of the vital oxygen we breathe – so it’s vital we nurture, protect and maintain our ocean health. Swim for Clean Seas is a way to engage people from all across the community, while having a healthy swim and learning about small changes we can all easily make in our daily lives to help our oceans thrive.
I would particularly like to thank our generous hosts from Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort for their hospitality and supporting the event. They were the first hotel chain in the UAE to ban disposable plastic and are therefore a perfect fit for the message of the event.”
This year, interactive games at the event include ‘beach safari bingo’ and a ‘nurdle hunt’. These children’s activities are free to attend.
Felicia adds: “While the ‘nurdle hunt’ sounds like fun, and undoubtedly will be, it’s a chance to teach kids about how these nurdles – tiny plastic pellets found in all our oceans and littering beaches – are persistent, pervasive, toxic and harmful to aquatic and bird life – as wildlife often mistake the tiny pellets for food. It’s a chance for everyone to clean the beach up while learning about the problems of global plastic production.”
There will also be a raffle, and the chance to hear from children’s ambassadors from select schools in Abu Dhabi to help spread the important environmental messages.

Register here:
Cost Dhs90 8-11 years
Dhs150 12-17 years
Dhs200 adults

Plastics make up to around 75% of marine litter, although this can be up to 100% at some sites.
Plastic in the ocean breaks up into smaller fragments called microplastics, which have been identified in commercial fish consumed by humans.
Half of all plastics are single-use applications, used just once and then disposed of.
We don’t know how long it takes for plastic to break down. It’s estimated it could take thousands of years.
Birds are highly susceptible to plastic ingestion. It is estimated that over 90% of all seabirds have ingested plastic.
Studies show plastic chemicals can act as endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruption is linked to health effects like cancer, birth defects, and developmental problems in children.

Arti Dani
Arti Dani is a journalist by trade, a travelling runner with 5 international marathons, one ultra-marathon under her belt. 100 push-ups a day is a simple job for her, even though she's still working to perfect her headstand skills.
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