A further 22 UK-based marine conservation charities and projects are set to benefit from the latest round of Sea-Changers’ grants – with a total of nearly £14,000 being distributed. The grant money comes from customers who donate via Sea-Changers’ marine business partners which include Mike’s Dive Store, Port and Lemon and Hebridean Island Cruises. This year, they have been joined by River Island who supported Sea-Changers through their 2018 Christmas campaign and 10 International who have raised money through the sale of their new environmentally conscious wine range; Sea Change Wine.
Since being formed in 2011, Sea-Changers has now awarded 150 marine conservation grants to projects across the UK. The latest round of grants will help support a diverse mix of marine conservation projects, but has an emphasis on one of the marine environment’s biggest problems – plastic pollution.
Some of the organisations receiving funds this time are:
Living River Foundation – who are working with local businesses and the community to reduce or eliminate the amount of plastic and other litter entering the Chatham Maritime Peninsular waterways in Kent, and improving the collection of the litter that does enter the water.
East Suffolk Greenprint Forum – A project to raise awareness of pollution threats to waterways and inspire behaviour change that can mitigate these threats.
Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary - An event bringing Andy Peters of The Whale Workshop to Shetland with his lifelike inflatable sea creatures to tour the island's schools, visiting each area over five days and culminating in a two day display for the wider community at the weekend. Children from all of Shetland’s 32 schools are invited to attend and learn about marine wildlife and the challenges they face, and encouraged to participate in cleaning Shetland’s 1,500 miles coastline, one of the worst affected in Europe.
Strandliners, an all-volunteer community interest company active in the Rye Bay area of East Sussex, will recruit and train a select number of committed volunteers as “citizen scientists” who will, in turn, recruit, train and manage “cells” of local volunteers in targeted communities across the River Rother basin with a view to curbing upstream toxic inflows before they reach the sea.
Sea-Changers has also funded projects that involve research and species protection including:
Cornwall Wildlife Trust - #HandsOffOurCrawfish is a public awareness raising campaign which highlights the need for better protection for an iconic species which has recently re-colonised UK waters following a thirty year absence. This campaign is calling on recreational divers and dive companies to make it clear that it is not cool to catch crawfish and asking divers and dive companies to pledge online and to display stickers saying 'no crawfish' on this boat to ensure that history does not repeat itself.
On The Killer Whale Trail - the grant will fund two trips to Shetland as part of a citizen science project about killer whale foraging behaviour. The project team Emily Hague and Saana Isojunno will take the trips to Shetland during predicted periods of high killer whale activity to develop the citizen science data collection protocol in collaboration with local wildlife experts, and foster knowledge exchange with a network of observers in Shetland. Anyone with an interest in marine mammals is invited to participate and make ‘Focal Follow’ observations to document killer whale feeding behaviour. For updates follow www.onthekillerwhaletrail.com or @onthekillerwhaletrail, where you will find a fun accessible platform to watch the trips progress. If you are keen to get involved visit the website here.
The full list of grant recipients will be published shortly but includes:
Cornwall Seal Group and Research Trust
Cornwall Wildlife Trust
Dorset Wildlife Trust
East Suffolk Greenprint Forum
Friends of Horsey Seals
Hightown Beach Clean Group
Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary
Living River Foundation
National Lobster Hatchery
Newquay Marine Group
On the Killer Whale Trail
Rhunahaorine Primary School
University of Portsmouth
The next grant application cycle closes at the end of September 2019 and for further information please visit the grants page on our website.
Photo Credits from left to right:
Andy Peters/Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary
Ilfracombe and North Devon Sub Aqua Club