This May, experienced adventurers Paul Niel and Esther Röling, will be undertaking a difficult coasteering expedition around Hong Kong Island to collect water samples and images to support environmental research.

A couple from Hong Kong aim to tackle a unique expedition which will create the first full coastal pollution map for Hong Kong. Paul Niel and Esther Röling will be coasteering along the coast of Hong Kong to document pollution levels and gather images to demonstrate the contrasting nature and urban landscapes.

Coasteering is a combination of climbing, swimming and cliff jumps in order to navigate along a coast staying as near to the waterline as possible.

Using portable water quality technology donated by Palintest and the Hong Kong Open University, the couple will be taking samples along the shoreline to assess the impacts of pollution around the island. Samples will be taken away for further analysis into the effects of global water and assess toxicity levels, which can determine the likelihood of an algae bloom. Often triggered by poor sewage management, algae blooms can have a significant impact on the welfare of the ecosystem. With government sampling usually focused on offshore waters, this represents a unique opportunity to assess the water along the coastline.

Shocked by the amount of rubbish and pollution along the coastline, the pair are passionate about educating people on the impact that this has on the ecosystem. Niel and Röling will be doing pop up events with local schools along the expedition route in the hope that they can educate and inspire youngsters about pollution and adventuring.

“Not only do we want to make children more aware of Hong Kong’s pollution, but also about the amazing adventures they can have outdoors,” says Niel. “Even if it motivates just two kids to venture out more, then we’ll have already achieved something.”

Despite being experienced adventurers and climbers, the pair will be facing an endurance battle undertaking strenuous climbing and swimming for 10 hours per day for around 7 days, making camp on the beaches and cliffs each evening. Given the perilous nature of the expedition, Niel and Röling will be followed by a boat team who will be their point of contact for emergency as well as their pit stop for water and supplies.

To find out more about the expedition and to follow the team on their journey visit https://www.facebook.com/RoundtheIslandHK/

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