Action for marine conservation in the Irish Sea

Last year we raised over £1,000 for the Living Seas project. We caught up with the project manager to find out how the project is progressing.

How do you know this project is needed?

Unfortunately, the UK seas are not Living Seas. Decades of neglect have left them damaged and degraded, a shadow of their former diversity and abundance. We urgently need to act to bring them back to life, and the next five years are critical.

It is literally ‘make or break’ time. With new laws and Government commitments in the offing, we have a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity. If we make the very best of that opportunity, pushing every step of the way, our seas will turn the corner and start to recover their health. If we do not, they will continue on their downward spiral.

What does your project do to address this need?

Cumbria, Lancashire, and Cheshire Wildlife Trusts have come together to deliver The Wildlife Trusts’ vision for our seas across the region: Living Seas North West. With the invaluable help of our supporters, volunteers and members they are campaigning for the designation and management of a network of Marine Protected Areas throughout the Irish Sea and the conservation of the wider marine environment.

The Wildlife Trusts envisage that within Living Seas, marine wildlife will thrive, from the depths of the ocean to the coastal shallows.
In Living Seas:

  • Wildlife and habitats are recovering from past decline as our use of the seas’ resources becomes environmentally sustainable.
  • The natural environment is adapting well to a changing climate, and ocean processes are helping to slow down climate change.
  • People are inspired by marine wildlife and value the sea for the many ways in which it supports our quality of life.

Can the local community get involved with your project?

To achieve these goals the project works closely with local communities to ensure that the project activities and outcomes also meet their needs.

As part of the project the Wildlife Trusts have delivered marine and coastal community engagement events and activities to encourage people to explore and experience wildlife and wild places on the coast, with the hope that they will then see the value in protecting them for future generations to come. They are also recruiting and training volunteers from local communities to become Marine Champions to lead activities, carry out essential survey work and contribute to the campaign.

What outcomes have you achieved so far?

5398 people engaged in total throughout the second year of the project
29 surveys undertaken along the coast
1255 individuals have taken part in activities at centres along the coast
3339 additional people have been inspired through community events
869 children have benefitted from Beach School or school activities
1250 pledges made to protect the Irish Sea
530 young people actively engaged in campaigns and surveys
28 additional Our Irish Sea Marine Champions recruited
5 training days run for volunteers

To find out more about the project, follow Living Seas North West on facebook or twitter!

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