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Qatar Museums announces Trashboom Project at Al Zubarah

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Qatar Museums’ Cultural Heritage Protection department has unveiled Al Zubarah Trashboom Project, an environmental initiative aimed at combating ocean pollution. Launched in alignment with Earth Day, this project marks a step forward in safeguarding Qatar’s UNESCO World Heritage Site.

HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums, said: “Al Zubarah Trashboom Project exemplifies our commitment to preserving Qatar’s history while embracing innovative solutions for environmental challenges. Through such initiatives, we aim to foster a deeper appreciation for our heritage and a stronger awareness of sustainable practices among the public to ensure that the cultural significance of each site is not only clearly communicated but also accessible, relatable, and enjoyable to visitors, both now and in the future.”

Al Zubarah Trashboom Project, supported by Ras Laffan Industrial City Community Outreach Program (RLIC-COP), introduces the strategic deployment of Trash Booms, an innovative measure designed to curb the effects of ocean pollution on this archaeological site and lessen the need for frequent beach cleanups. These Trash Booms, buoyant and linked together like a chain, are set up along rivers, sea streams, beaches, and gulfs. Their primary function is to deflect, contain, and collect various pollutants-ranging from floating debris and marine waste to plastics and seaweed-preventing them from reaching the shores or contaminating terrestrial environments. Beyond their immediate purpose, Trash Booms also play a crucial role in waterway management and stormwater overflow control. Depending on the site’s specific requirements and conditions, these systems can be implemented either temporarily or permanently.

In the context of Al Zubarah, the project takes a step further by repurposing the collected waste material, transforming it into useful fittings or installations within the site itself. The anchors of these Trash Booms also serve a dual purpose by acting as artificial reefs, enriching the marine biodiversity of Al Zubarah Bay. This multifaceted approach addresses environmental concerns and contributes to the preservation and enhancement of the site’s ecological footprint.

Abdullatif Al Jasmi, Director of Cultural Heritage Protection at Qatar Museums, elaborated: “Al Zubarah is home to Qatar’s only World Heritage Site, its beach consistently experiences washed-up marine waste from the Arabian Gulf. Despite efforts to organise periodic clean-ups, the continuous flow of debris necessitated a sustainable solution, which not only keeps the beach clean but also improves the environment for marine life in the Bay of Al Zubarah. The Zubarah Trashboom Project underscores Qatar Museums’ commitment to integrating cultural heritage preservation with practical environmental measures. By deploying Trash Booms, we aim to tackle the influx of marine debris in a manner that aligns with our dedication to the long-term sustainability of Qatar’s cultural treasures, and we plan to recycle all the collected waste for other functions that endow the site and benefit marine life”.

Sheikha Dana Rashid A. M. Al-Thani, Lead at RLIC-COP, said: “Al Zubarah offshore trash boom installation project, initiated by Qatar Museums and proudly supported by RLIC-COP, is quite a unique project as it is addressing the plastic marine pollution at one of the most significant archaeological sites in-country recognised by the UNESCO. It is hugely rewarding to see how our collective efforts with our partner Qatar Museums have maximized the value gained from this project contributing to enhancing the quality of Al Zubarah beach and protecting the marine biodiversity. RLIC-COP have benefited greatly from the partnership with Qatar Museums who successfully managed to deliver a high technical complex and innovative project in a timely and professional manner”.

Al Zubarah was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013 and is the best-preserved example of an 18th-19th century trading and pearl fishing town in the Gulf region, making it Qatar’s largest archaeological heritage site. Unlike its contemporaries, it is largely intact and has not been lost beneath the region’s vast modern cities.

Source: Peninsula

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