Among nature’s most devoted heroes throughout the Middle East and North Africa, the Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association (HEPCA) has released renders of a new bio boat that will be used to educate children about the Red Sea’s numerous (albeit largely threatened) bio marvels.
Funded in part by the U.S. Forest Service, which has created all kinds of low impact natural wonderlands in parks across the United States, the boat is slated for completion by summer this year.
“The objective of our Bio Boat program is to introduce different aspects of environmental conservation to students interactively and in a natural setting,” HEPCA recently announced on their Facebook page.
“We want to create an atmosphere where the student can become excited about conservation and gain a true appreciation for the bio-diversity of the Red Sea.”
Both wind and solar-powered, the bio boat will have a minuscule environmental impact since it will generate all of its own clean, renewable energy.
It will also be topped by a green roof that is not only useful for insulating the interior during hot summers, but is also expected to provide a mini-habitat for the many birds that travel through the Rift Valley/Red Sea flyway.
“On-board the vessel, students will be able to explore the microscopic world around them in a hands-on setting,” HEPCA notes, in a fun, engaging learning environment.
“Dedicated personal [sic] will provide lively and interactive lessons, aided by science equipment and the latest multi-media tools.”
Based in the Samadai Preserve, the bio boat will also act as a platform from which to observe dolphins – in a way that is not disruptive to their health. HEPCA has worked very hard with divers and other groups to protect Red Sea dolphins from thoughtless tourists and locals.
They have also swiftly reported all new oil spills that emerge in the region, though they very clearly operate in a manner that does not alienate local government officials.
“The US Forest Service is also supporting HEPCA with capacity building for the educators, in order to ensure a quality learning experience,” the group reported on Facebook.
“They have been a great support to us and are committed to our vision of empowerment through education and engendering a culture of environmental stewardship amongst the youth.”
While science education is notoriously low in parts of North Africa and the Middle East, Green Prophet has observed a noticeable growth in science-based educational and tourism initiatives.
Dayma, for example, leads children on “biomimicry” tours that get them thinking about human applications for adaptations in nature – such as the ability of camels to withstand harsh desert environments without a vast water supply.
While the renders depict a conceptual design that could change as construction proceeds, we can’t wait to see the real thing. Stay tuned this summer!
Via HEPCA Facebook