After two years, the "Dongsha Experience Camp" set sail again from Kaohsiung Port to Dongsha Island this afternoon (June 30). Sixteen college students are heading to Dongsha Island to explore the mysterious pearl in South China Sea by Tainan Patrol Culter(海巡署台南艦).
Dongsha Island is about 240 miles (444 km) away from Kaohsiung and is under the jurisdiction of Chijin District, Kaohsiung City. The Ministry of the Interior established the Dongsha Marine National Park in 1996, which is still a military base area. To enhance understanding of Dongsha and the ocean conservation awareness, the Coast Guard Administration(CGA), in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of the Interior, the Council of Agriculture, and the Kaohsiung City Government has organized the "Dongsha Experience Camp" since 2011. This camp is open to college students and school teachers. This year, there will be two session of this camp, one is from June 30 to July 4 (16 college students), and the second one is from July 14 to 18 (20 school teachers).
CGA arranges an opening ceremony on the Tainan Patrol Culter today, and the Minister of Ocean Affair Council, Kuan Bi-Ling, personally participants the ceremony to encourage the participation of students and staff. She says that there is a post office, hospital, temple, airport, and pier on Dongsha Island, and the sea voyage takes about 36 hours for a round trip. Students will experience the life at sea. Minister Kuan says that CGA protects our "Three Security(三安): National Security, Order, and Safety" 7 days a week. Students will also have a deep experience of the CGA work. Minister Kuan appreciates the coast guard officers’ and students’ courage, enthusiasm, and action.
Minister Kuan says that the ocean accounts for about 70% of the earth's surface and is truly an "ocean planet", so the ocean is our mainstream. These students will stay on the island for three days. The relevant authorities have arranged many teaching materials regarding marine conservation, ecological restoration, marine patrol task, and beach cleanup. Minister Kuan hopes students could grasp the this opportunity to learn, cultivate an endless love for the ocean, and dedication to the maritime field after the event.
Finally, Minister Kuan encourages students to join the family of Ocean Affairs Council and continue striving for our ocean nation.
Mr. Chou Chih-Chamg