Tuesday, 26 November 2013

A supermarket like no other arrives in Brighton!

MCS fundraisers have created a supermarket style art installation that aims to encourage more sustainable use and recycling of plastic.

The “TruCost Super M-Art” gives shoppers a very different experience, with shelves stocked solely with discarded plastic items found on UK beaches to draw attention to the pressing issue of plastic pollution, waste and consumption.

The shelves are brimming with water bottles, juice bottles, milk cartons, cleaning products and a massive plastic fragment pick and mix range - all collected from local beaches with the help of Sea Champions and volunteers.

Lou McCurdy and Chloe Hanks, known as the "
Dirty Beach artists", set up the installation, and have since been asked to exhibit the supermarket at the National Trust visitor centre at Birling Gap in Eastbourne, at Brighton and Plymouth Universities, and have been invited to New Orleans next year by '5 Gyres' to create a similar exhibition from plastic recovered from the Mississippi River!

Lou said: “It’s been amazing. We have had more visitors to the installation in the first day we opened than any other single day at any other exhibition at ONCA Gallery and people can’t quite make out whether we are a real supermarket until they enter.

With partner Chloe, Lou spent three weeks collecting beach plastic from Birling Gap to Shoreham.

The TruCost Super M-Art at ONCA Gallery, is running between November 16th to December 21st 2013 to highlight the perils of plastics and our throwaway lifestyle.

Sea Champion Hannah Chilton behind "March of the Mermaids" is helping to organise the "Dirty Beach fundraiser" at The Blind Tiger club in Grand Parade, Brighton, on December 17 from 4pm with DJs, stalls and more. Entry is £5, which goes to the MCS.

Visit their website and find them on Facebook for more information.  

What is the "TruCost" of our throw away lifestyle? The “TruCost Super M-Art” art installation encourages more sustainable use and recycling of plastics whilst raising funds for MCS.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

27 out of 31 Marine Conservation Zones!

MCS has welcomed today’s announcement by Government of 27 Marine Conservation Zones as a significant milestone for marine conservation in English seas.

This is a significant step towards stemming the alarming decline in our rich marine biodiversity, ensuring iconic species such as the seahorse, black bream and native oyster, and stunning habitats in places such as Chesil Beach and the Skerries Banks, may be better protected for future generations.

We're also pleased to see that the Government has listened to concerns about when more designations will be planned, with consultation on future zones timetabled in 2015/16 and 2016/17.
Thank you Sea Champions! You alone collected over 7,000 pledges for a full network of MCZs, donated nearly 500 hours of your time inputting pledge data, wrote to your local newspapers, met with MPs, spread the word on social media and joined us on a freezing February morning to march on Westminster led by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

We couldn't have done this without you!

Read the full story here and the list of 27 MCZs here.

Philippa Arding is the winner of the MCS Fundraiser of the Year Award 2013

Philippa’s husband Nick, and friend Lee embarked on an epic "Around Britain" sea kayaking challenge in May this year after two years of planning. Philippa was keen to support MCS’ beach cleans and organised eleven beach cleans around the country to coincide with Nick and Lee’s overnight stops.

Unfortunately after 400 miles of kayaking, Lee suffered an injury - but this didn’t end the challenge, Philippa stepped in to join Nick and took Lee’s place! As a relatively inexperienced kayaker (in her own words) it is even more incredible that Philippa went on to kayak 800 miles with Nick!

During the four month challenge, Philippa:

Raised £3,723.13
Cleaned 16 beaches
Involved 122 volunteers
Collected 139 bags of rubbish plus 50 kg of litter whilst in their kayaks
Gave 5 presentations to schools and groups and have another 4 lined up

If you would like to support Philippa and Nick’s incredible challenge you can sponsor them here http://www.justgiving.com/AB4B-MCS

We are looking forward to working with Philippa and Nick on future sea kayaking projects – look out for more information next year!
Philippa and Nick Arding on their epic "Around Britain" kayak challenge

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Beat the Microbead!

Welsh Sea Champions Sarah and Harriet have been helping us "Beat the Microbead"!

Our seas are becoming filled with microscopic plastic particles - they are now present in all the seas and oceans of the world, and we are contributing to this when we use certain bathroom products.

Every day, millions of people, without knowing, wash plastic beads down the drain, and into our seas. A whopping 3 out of 4 scrubs and peels contain micro plastics - but it's not just these products. Shampoos, soap, toothpaste, eyeliners, lip gloss, deodorant and sunblock sticks can also contain plastic particles.

We want Sea Champions to BOYCOTT products containing plastic ingredients. Starting NOW!

Download the “Beat the microbead” app so you can scan barcodes to see if a product contains microplastics.

We really need your help to get British products listed on the app. Please tell us which products do and don’t contain micro plastics!

Welsh Sea Champions Sarah and Harriet have been doing a fantastic job checking which products contain microplastics in shops in Swansea, so we can update the app.
Sarah and Harriet checking which products contain microplastics in shops in Swansea.

Friday, 15 November 2013

And the winners of the Sea Champions photo competition are...

Thanks to all who took part in the Sea Champions photo competition, we've had some fantastic entries!

We’re very pleased to announce our winners on the MCS website.

Although the competition has finished for this year, we are still in need of photos. So next time you visit the coast, order a fish supper or take part in Sea Champions activities, please send us your shots. If we use them, they will of course be fully credited. Download our guide to the types of photos we really need.

To everyone who took part, many thanks again, you’ve really helped us build up our image library to help us get our conservation messages across.

Just a few of the amazing entries into the Sea Champions photo competition.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Ocean explorer Paul Rose presents the "Fish Award"

We are delighted to announce the winner of this years ‘Fish Award’ for outstanding contribution to MCS and marine conservation.

Pete Wilkinson, from the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales, was presented with the award last night at the MCS AGM and evening with Paul Rose in London.

Pete is a long term supporter of MCS and an organiser of Beachwatch Big Weekend. Not any old organiser, Pete along with, at times up to 200 volunteers, tries to survey as much of the Llyn Penisula as possible. As an incentive to take part, he offers free camping at his campsite, gets a local band along to play and organises a party as a thank you. On top of this, he manages to co-ordinate hundreds of people to do surveys around the coast.

If that wasn’t enough, he then has to sort out all the data – no small feat with over 20 beach surveys to collate individual volunteer sheets, tally them then submit them (and now enter them online).

Also he is known locally as the MCS representative and raises money for us too.

Paul Rose presents Pete Wilkinson with the "Fish Award" for his outstanding contribution to MCS and marine conservation


Thursday, 7 November 2013

Sea Champions take to the beach for Autumn clean-ups!

Sea Champion Sarah and her team near Portishead, braved the elements to complete the second ever Beachwatch survey at Black Nore. 25 kilos of rubbish were collected just a few months after the first event at this interesting and secluded beach.
Thanks also to Sea Champions organising and volunteering at beach cleans at Hengistbury Head, Sand Bay and Gwithian, and to Anna Keirle's for adding a new dimension to beach cleans with her amazing face painting skills!
Meanwhile in Wales, regular beach cleans have been taking place on Swansea Bay starting this month, and then every first Saturday of the month, followed by a coffee, catch up and warm up! 
Whilst in Scotland, more and more Sea Champions are taking the next step and organising their own Beachwatch beach cleans!
If you'd like to get involved in a beach clean and litter survey this Autumn, get in touch with your Volunteer Coordinator for support.