This sign has been lying on the sea bed in St. George’s Bay, Birzebbugia, for the past two weeks. No one did actually care to retrieve it. According to the Local Council, since the object is in contact with sea water, it is the Malta Maritime Authority which is responsible. So calling the Maritime Authority, I was told that since it is a traffic sign, I had to contact the Roads Department instead. Having done so, I was forwarded to a gentleman, who patiently, explained that since it is a temporary road sign, he will contact the private contractor entrusted with the works near St George's Bay in order to recover the sign. The sign remains an eyesore, and apart from that everyone should be conscious nowadays of the effects of chemical, physical and biological variations in the sea water environment by the corrosion rates of metals.
by St Michael Foundation School Yvette Farrugia & Rebecca Sciberras for Coastline
filed under Photos
See this breathtaking view of the beach of Għajn Tuffieħa to the left? See how the view is ruined by the eyesore of the abandoned building built next to it? There are many of these buildings scattered around Malta. Sometimes massive plots of land which were bought and built are abandoned due to various reasons. Whatever the cause, the result is the same: empty buildings which remain there for countless years. These half-finished buildings are many times vandalised and are very unappealing to the eye.
by Rachel Powell St Theresa College Girls' Junior Lyceum Imriehel for Coastline
filed under Photos
The idea of conserving the environment is widely acknowledged but are we really taking action to preserve geographical features like the Azure Window in Dwejra (Gozo)? Lately media has focused on the disruption of the ecological features in Dwejra due to the machinery used in a film set. However, damage has always been done to the karstic and fossil features by tramping of tourists, driving of vehicles and even fossil theft. Quarry heaps and soils from fields have deposited silt on the sediment. All this has reduced the extent of the habitat for various communities (MEPA report, 2011). In order to restore the beauty of the landscape fossil theft should be minimized, wooden paths elevated from the ground could be built in order for tourists to walk on while no vehicles should be allowed to drive on the restricted area.
Filfla is a very small uninhabited island which is one of the islands of the Maltese archipelago. This island is found five kilometres out from the island called Malta. In the year 1971 the royal navy and royal air force used the island as target pratice and because of this the island was destroyed a little. Then in 1980 Filfla was a bird reseve and three species of sea bird settled on the island, these were: the European Storm Petrel , Cory’s Shearwater and Yellow-legged Gull. There is also a type of Wall Lizard which is only found on Filfla. In 1988 this island was established as a protected site, no one could go on it except for scientific purposes.
On your way down to one of our idyllic local beaches, enclosed in smooth Blue Clay slopes and wrapped up in clear blue waters, there is a building which seems to have been abandoned for quite a number of years most probably due to unstable foundations considering the abundant presence of Blue Clay. Blue Clay is indeed a very soft type of rock and is not really suitable to support construction sites. This derelict building is not only an eyesore to all who visit this beach, but also hazardous. It could be unstable and there is a serious risk of injury to anyone who is curious enough to wander into the building. There could also be a possibility that the building could collapse. Attention must be given to this building for the sake of the beach but mostly for the public's sake.
What a shame that we permit huge yachts to remain within the Birgu Marina and obstruct the view of historical buildings around the harbour. I reported this case to the Local Council of Vittoriosa and they promised to see what they can do. The question is not about yachts coming and going but more about long term stays of huge yachts within the Birgu Marina. Tourists come to visit our historical locations and not to see huge yachts taking up the view. Whatever the money these yachts pay they should not obstruct the view of our historical architecture. I suggest that rules in this regard are adopted whereby yachts do not take up prominent locations in those marinas which are close to historical places. Another option could be that short stays are offered to such yachts in unique locations till an alternative is found. Historical heritage comes before money.
No it is not a big fish! It is a street sign! Have you ever thought of reducing speed when swimming? No – this is not the case, because this is purely vandalism that a street sign found itself in shallow water. This can be hazardous to small children playing in this shallow sea. Is it possible that the sign is too small that cannot be seen from the public? We invested in local councils and local services, so is it that we are not working hard on awareness? Why is it difficult to protect our environment? This can cause a disruption in the eco-system of the nearby area since the pole can rust and cause contamination in the sea where it would kill a lot of sea organisms and small fish. People who wouldn’t notice the contamination of the nearby water can get infection which is why I keep wondering why no one hasn’t removed the pole from there and as the sign suggests we should reduce the speed that is destroying this world.
This being Malta, and Malta being in the middle of one of the hottest seas in the world, fair weather and strong winds are a constant factor throughout the year. Our culture has revolved around the sea since our very origin, and events like the Middle Sea Race help the Maltese reconnect to their roots, even if not taking part directly, fostering a sense of awareness of the condition of the sea. Events such as these should be encouraged, for besides being a tourist attraction, they also endow upon the people who participate in them a sense of discipline, professionalism and, above all, respect for the abilities of different countries, as well as encouraging a love for the sea and responsibility as to the state it is in, for it reminds us all that the sea is integral to our lives, and that it needs to be protected.
Living on an island, beaches and the sea in general are an important facet of daily life, as well as an inextricable part of the Maltese culture. The summer ‘xalati’, or days by the sea, are a weekly pleasure for most of the Maltese, especially on those days following a village feast. The image on the left shows a relationship that seems to be degrading, however. The pictured parakiter enjoys the winds that carry him across the waves, framed by a backdrop of verdant green. This, however, is one of the only inlets in Malta that remain untouched. Haphazard development has taken over a great number of our beaches, with concrete promenades and kiosks reigning over the Maltese coast and busy roads ensuring that not a moment of peace can be enjoyed. Will we surrender our beaches, our culture, our very livelihood, to swathes of grey? If we do, it will not bode well for us, for even a humble weed finds its way through the strongest concrete.
Is it worth destroying other creature’s habitat, just for the sake of having a seaside view? Instead of appreciating the natural environment of Xemxija Bay by building Nature Reserves and other things to help raise awareness about the beauty of the bay, we are building apartments which are not only polluting the surrounding environment and killing many habitats, but are also creating an eyesore. If we carry out these projects, then we may preserve many of the creatures’ natural habitats. By conserving many of the natural resources, we can make the bay look more attractive and many tourists along with local people may enjoy taking a stroll on the beach. As you are reading this, think of how much better off our life would be if urbanisation was reduced! We would have a longer lifespan and our health will drastically improve. Think before you build!