This weekend, I’ll be in Hove on Saturday 7th July at Paddle Round the Pier with the Marine Conservation Society, campaigning for the creation of Beachy Head East Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) – as well as encouraging people like you to get involved with the #GOPlasticFree campaign this July, The Big Seaweed Search and The Great British Beach Clean, to name just a few!!
If you’ve been following me on social media (which, if you haven’t why not?! Follow me here), then you’ll know how important it is to be #BackingBeachyHeadEast and the creation of 40 other recommended Marine Conservation Zones.
In case you were wondering… Marine Conservation Zones “protect a range of nationally important marine wildlife, habitats, geology and geomorphology, and can be designated anywhere in English and Welsh territorial and UK offshore waters” (JNCC).
Beachy Head East is located on the beautiful Sussex coastline and is home to a plethora of unique ecology, as well as holding great cultural value. Rare underwater chalk reefs exist here and the area already has two Sites of Nature Conservation importance – the Royal Sovereign Shoals and the Horse of Willingdon Reef.
Beachy Head East is also crucial to the local community, and is used by a vast array of people, from local fishermen to recreational divers, marine archaeologists to beach users.
Recently, the UK government announced a 6-week consultation process on the designation of Beachy Head East MCZ, an area that runs from Beachy Head lighthouse to Hastings Pier, and extends six nautical miles out to see, covering 192 m2. This would make it the largest inshore MCZ in Sussex and a significant contributor to Britain’s MCZ network.
Tragically, like many of our seas and oceans, Beachy Head East is being exploited. Non-local fishermen drag heavy fishing gear along the bottom, destroying everything in their path. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the usual suspects of pollution, acidification and sea-temperature rise also threaten the fragile ecosystems within Beachy Head East.
But fret not!!! There are so many things you can do to get behind the campaign for #BackingBeachyHeadEast:
1.) Sign the petition – this one literally takes a couple of seconds and your support is integral, so no excuses here anyone.
2.) Use the hashtag #BackingBeachyHeadEast on Twitter and Facebook to let your friends, family and followers know about the importance of this campaign and your voice be heard.
3.) Submit your feedback on the consultation – you have until the 20th July to let DEFRA know they have the publics’ support to designate 41 new Marine Conservation Zones.
For more information please visit the #BackingBeachyHeadEast campaign website here.
You can also sign the Marine Conservation Society’s petition for 41 new Marine Conservation Zones.
I’ve only gone into detail about #BackingBeachyHeadEast here, but there are 40 other proposed MCZs all around the UK. There’s probably one near you!
Get behind your local campaign and push the government to do all they can to protect our seas.
While you’re at it, why don’t you also sign up for #GOPlasticFree with the Marine Conservation Society? July has only just started, and however you can reduce your plastic usage, whether by pledging to stop using single-use plastic straws, committing to only using your re-usable water bottle, or completely going #plasticfree, we can all help to reduce our impact on our blue planet.