In our Autumn round of our Main Grants fund, the focus of our grant awards has very much been on the theme of ocean plastics and education. In addition, Sea-Changers is able to support a number of diverse projects focusing on species protection, direct action and research. The Autumn 2021 grant money comes from Sea-Changers’ marine business partners including Extrême Ice Cream who fund Sea-Changers ‘Tackling Ocean Plastics' Fund, Liga and 10 International, who raise funds through sales of their ethically sourced eco-friendly wine range, Sea Change Wine.
Since its inception in 2011, Sea-Changers has awarded over 225 marine conservation grants to projects across the UK, channelling over £150,000 in funding towards the protection of the country’s coasts and seas. The projects funded in this round are as follows:
Community Supporters - Beach Smart – Prevent the Plastic is a series of beach school sessions (8 in total) that are aimed at learning about and addressing the issues around marine plastics, whilst also learning about the parts of the local coastline in East Sussex that are natural and how plastics are affecting marine life.
Coryton Primary School - Coryton cares for our coast
Coryton Cares for our coast is a whole school project where children explore the effects plastic pollution is having on marine life. The school is based near to Cardiff in South Wales.
This project will look at the problems of plastics (both macro and microplastics) in our oceans and how it impacts marine organisms from entanglement to bio-accumulation. The aim is to raise school pupils' awareness of marine plastic pollution and improve ocean literacy.
Final Straw Foundation - Final Straw Foundation Beach School/sessions
Final Straw Foundation Beach schools is a complete community-based project that involves local schools participating to address solutions and issues with marine plastic. They are based on the Hampshire coast.
Team Otter is an environmental education programme that is focused on children. Team Otter Broadford, on the Isle of Skye, is a passionate group that are working towards various aspects of caring for the environment.
Neverland allows MAST to use art and education workshops to make sure everyone understands how to address climate concerns, maritime conservation threats and environmental challenges in the UK, as well as how we can reduce our negative impact on UK seas.
National Museum Wales – Rafting on plastics – American molluscs on British shores
The aims of this project are to produce and print a rafting bivalves (molluscs) identification guide and several posters, to leave pots and buckets for specimen collection at coastal locations and for the retrieval of these collected bivalves from these locations.
Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry Laboratory (SIBL) - Assessing historical trends in habitat use and feeding ecology of the bottlenose dolphin,
High-resolution stable isotope profiles of historical Bottle Nose Dolphin teeth will provide valuable information on their diet and ecology and will enable SIBL to determine if there is a relationship between fishing intensity and shifts in the behaviour/diet of the Bottle Nose Dolphin.
Bristol University - What’s for dinner? Using eDNA to investigate dolphin prey availability in Cardigan Bay, Wales.
This project will assess spatial variability in the fish community inhabiting Cardigan Bay, Wales using environmental DNA (eDNA); a novel method used to identify species recently present in an area by traces of DNA they deposit in the environment.
Brighton Meal Box will be the first reusable, stainless steel, leakproof takeaway food container deposit return scheme for the city of Brighton and Hove and aims to tackle the vast amount of single-use, plastic based food packaging that litters the seafront and escapes into the sea.
The Vayyu Foundation engages with the community and organises fun and exciting beach cleans, as well as making their events inclusive and diverse, they provide litter pickers, rubbish bags, bag hoops, safety equipment and uniforms to volunteers. The Sea-Changers grant will fund the provision of litter picking equipment in this area.
In 2022, Extrême Ice Cream Brand will be continuing to fund the 'Tackling Ocean Plastics Fund', which will support groups and organisations around the UK who wish to run marine conservation projects aimed at tackling the issue of plastics. This will operate as part of Sea-Changers’ Main Grant Fund again in March and September 2022.