Earthraging is Around the Corner!
With the 2016 Earthraging season just around the corner, the PiA fellows could not be more excited to get in the water with the R35 students! The three of us are currently spread thin across three different countries as we embark on our respective visa runs and travels before the start of the second semester, but we are all counting down to the days until we will be back in beautiful Bangsak and under the water with our students! We are also ecstatic to announce that PiA alum, Libby Faus, will be coming back to Bangsak as well to help with Earthraging this year, and she cannot wait to get back to Thailand and reconnect with the R35 community!
Earthraging will run through the course of November with a variety of fun and informational activities planned, and this year we have a record number of student signups―over 200! The program will include lectures about the local marine environment and ocean safety skills, beach cleanups, and for a select number of exceptional students, pool swimming lessons in Bang Niang and long-tail boat snorkeling trips around Khao Na Yak!
Wicked Diving, the local environmentally-conscious dive shop we have partnered with over the past few years, will be continuing their support this year to help us run the Earthraging program, supplying us with in-water support through expatriate and Thai-speaking dive guides, long-tail boats for snorkeling trips, and years of program experience and expertise.
This year, in conjunction with Earthraging, we have also connected with a shark and marine life conservation charity, Shark Guardian, to teach students about the importance of protecting our fast-diminishing coral reefs and the importance of apex predators, like sharks, in maintaining a healthy reef environment. We’re extremely excited about this addition to the Earthraging program and, if all goes well, look forward to partnering with Shark Guardian in the future!
Finally, in light of the recent tragic passing of His Majesty the King, Bhumibol Adulyadej, we want to express our deepest condolences and sympathy for the people of Thailand. We will continue to do everything we can to support the Earthraging program and the local Bangsak community in this time of grief. The entire staff will keep the King’s passing in mind throughout the program, and will encourage sensitivity and remembrance to everyone involved.