On June 25, 2023, about 220 ASEZ university students in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India, gathered for blue carbon ecosystem cleanup and awareness-raising campaign at Ramakrishna Beach located in Visakhapatnam.

Visakhapatnam, situated on the southeastern coast of India, is a city with a bustling harbor where large ships come and go, contributing to the significance growth of industries such as heavy manufacturing and chemical production. It is also a renowned tourist destination, featuring romantic beaches like the Rushikonda Beach and the RK Beach, as well as stunning landscapes such as Araku Valley and Borra Caves. Travelers often find themselves enchanted by the beaches of Visakhapatnam while exploring the Indian coastline, ultimately deciding to settle down there, which is why it is also known as the “City of Destination.”

The advancement of media, including the social media, led to an increasing influx of tourists, contributing to the local economic development. However, the pristine oceans are being polluted with litter thrown by tourists. The local authorities of Visakhapatnam have initiated the ECO VIZAG Project, dedicating themselves to environmental conservation. Nevertheless, they are encountering challenges due to limited manpower resources.

For this, ASEZ university students conducted a blue carbon ecosystem cleanup and blue carbon awareness-raising campaigns to protect the beautiful beaches on the eastern coast of India in celebration of the World Environment Day.

A GITAM University student said, “I knew that we were facing marine pollution, but I disregarded it, not making any effort to clean. Through today’s volunteer activity, I collected the garbage on the coast side, and came to love the sea and make up my mind to conserve it.”

A member from ADC University who gave the panel presentation encouraged more citizens to participate in the Blue Carbon Project, saying, “I want many people who visit the beach to understand the purification capacity of blue carbon ecosystems and its value, and participate in protecting our beautiful oceans.”

As we carelessly keep on dumping trash, we might lose our beautiful emerald oceans forever. We are to enjoy our freedom but it requires responsibility.

We hope that ASEZ’s Blue Carbon Conservation Project will play the role of the salt and light of the world by cleansing the world’s oceans and marine ecosystems, and will continue in the next generations and beyond.