2014 - Grant Award £500

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust (HIWWT) is the leading nature conservation charity working exclusively across the two counties since 1961. The Trust’s Marine Team has been active in marine conservation since 2000 and have developed a successful and highly regarded portfolio of marine projects and activities, including biodiversity and habitat survey work, developing marine policy and advocacy, working with industry and statutory authorities and inspiring people to appreciate their marine environment.

Seasearch is a national programme which encourages volunteer scuba divers to contribute to recording and conservation of the marine environment. HIWWT have been Seasearch co-ordinators for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight counties since 2005, delivering a comprehensive training and diving survey programme each year to citizen scientists. Data collected during Seasearch dives is used by government conservation agencies, most recently to help inform the process of designating Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs). HIWWT has built up a substantial dataset in support of MCZs around the Isle of Wight. With Sea-Changers support, we are able to run an additional dive survey day with local experts to enhance data certainty, focus on filling data gaps which have been identified, and enrich current knowledge, thus helping to ensure ecologically important sites are protected.

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