The human element in Greek shipping traditionally comes from coastal and island areas of the country, which have historically developed strong ties with the sea. Therefore, from the very beginning HELMEPA was asked to help towards increasing the level of environmental awareness of the people living on land, as they also contribute significantly to the pollution of seas and coasts.

In 1983, for the first time in Greece, HELMEPA launched an annual public awareness campaign, using means such as environmental exhibitions in various parts of the country, TV spots, posters and children's drawing competitions. To this end, adults witnessed children, students and scouts cleaning up beaches on their own will and discovering the real dimensions of marine and coastal litter pollution originating from human activities on land.
HELMEPA Junior Seagull
The symbol of this initiative is the HELMEPA "Seagull" which has been adopted by similar initiatives in other Mediterranean countries. Moreover it has been projected in Member-States of the European Union through Community Programs that HELMEPA has implemented in Greece.

Between 1983 and 1992, 150,000 schoolchildren together with their teachers visited HELMEPA's environmental exhibitions and expressed their personal views by completing special questionnaires. The analysis of their answers suggested that 7 to 13-year old children are those mostly concerned about environmental protection.

The children also requested to be provided with a platform to voice their environmental concerns, promote their ideas and demand the respect they deserve from the adult community.

This led to the creation of the "HELMEPA Junior" environmental program, which is offered to all those children who want to participate and play a key role in its further development.