Underwater clean-ups, seal conservation projects and citizen science apps are among the winners of the latest round of Sea-Changers’ grants, with £14,428 distributed between 21 UK-based marine conservation charities and schemes.
The 2019 grant money comes from scuba divers, sailors and cruise-goers and from Sea-Changers’ marine business partners including Mike’s Dive Store, Boatbreakers and Hebridean Island Cruises. Key contributors this year range from River Island – who supported Sea-Changers through their 2018 Christmas campaign – to 10 International, who have raised funds through sales of their new environmentally-conscious wine range Sea Change wine.
Since its inception in 2011, Sea-Changers has awarded over 170 marine conservation grants to projects across the UK, channelling over £100,000 in funding towards the protection of the country’s coasts and seas.
The latest round of grants will sponsor a diverse mix of marine conservation projects, with the emphasis very much on community involvement in environmental solutions.
Funding has been given to projects targeting marine litter both on land and at sea. Clean Coast Outer Hebrides will be venturing to remote areas of the Isle of Lewis coastline, performing beach cleans in places that have never been subjected to one before. A grant has also been allocated to Neptune's Army of Rubbish Cleaners (NARC), who will be diving under water to remove debris from the UK’s sea beds – lost angling gear, general litter and fly-tipped waste – and rescue any wildlife that has become entangled in fishing gear.
Education remains a crucial theme of Sea-Changers grants. Projects funded through our work in 2019 include Go Dive in Derby, who are bringing the sea to the inland city as they seek to raise awareness around marine pollution impacts and the part we all play in limiting these. This year we have also supported the Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum, who will be aiming to increase the conservation knowledge and understanding of local communities via marine code workshops and encouraging citizen science via their Marine Code App.
Sea-Changers’ latest round has also sought to support a wide range of species protection projects, with grants awarded to The Shark Trust, Friends of Horsley Seals, the Firth of Forth Lobster Hatchery and others. This year’s grant winners also include the Morecambe Bay partnership – with new funding for their bird-ringing project – and Campbelltown Sub Aqua Club, who are being supported as they aim to carry out their Seasearch surveys.
The full list of organisations and projects funded in this round is as follows:
Beach Guardian CIC
Campbelltown Sub Aqua Club (CTSAC)
Citizen Science Dredger Damage
Clean Coast Outer Hebrides
Clean Ocean Sailing
Crowan Primary School
East Grampian Coastal Partnership
Firth of Forth Lobster Hatchery
Friends of Horsey Seals
Morecambe Bay Partnership
Neptune's Army of Rubbish Cleaners (NARC)
Our Only World
Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum
Seadream Education CIC
Seasearch Northern Ireland
Wild Planet Trust
The Open Seas Trust
Tarbert Youth Group
World Cetacean Alliance