Friday, 31 January 2014

Chilly Seasearch dive this winter

Scottish Sea Champions completed the furthest westerly Seasearch dive along the Forth Estuary

Sea Champion Sarah Conner donned her drysuit with Volunteer Coordintor Matt Barnes for a chilly December Seasearch survey.

"It was quite an interesting one, we surveyed the area quite far up the estuary near the iconic Forth rail bridge. Although only a shallow dive, there were strong currents and visability was under 1 meter. That said, the site was surprisingly interesting with loads of colourful sea slugs (nudibranchs), brittle stars and dead mans fingers" says Matt.

During 2014, Matt and Sarah are hoping to explore more inner Forth estuary unmapped sites!

Are you a certified diver in Scotland? Get in touch with Matt for more information if you'd like to get involved with Seasearch.

Check out some of Scotland's amazing life beneath the waves.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

2013 - What a year for Sea Champions!

Thank you to all of our Sea Champions across the UK! We have achieved so much in 2013 thanks to your continued support and work in your communities.

You helped get hundreds of school children to “Paint-a-Fish”, delivering a strong message to Europe’s politicians who have voted to end decades of overfishing by the EU, and have set ambitious targets to restore fish stocks to much healthier levels by 2020.

You were a major contribution to the success of the Marine Conservation Zones Campaign through lobbying MP’s, writing to local newspapers, tweeting, raising awareness, collecting over 7,000 campaign signatures, inputting pledge data and of course marching on Westminster! The announcement by Government of 27 MCZs is a significant milestone for marine conservation in English seas and we’re pleased to see consultation on future zones timetabled in 2015/16 and 2016/17.

Similarly in Scotland, your hard work hitting events, outdoor shows and museum open days and giving talks to Rotary clubs, schools and wildlife clubs resulted in 3,496 pledges of support for a network of Marine Protected Areas in Scotland. We are now eagerly awaiting the results of the consultation which will be announced over the coming months. 

It doesn’t stop there, thank you to all who are: Beachwatch Volunteers and Organisers cleaning and surveying litter on your favourite beaches; taking part in “Hang on to your tackle” installing angling bins to combat one of the most destructive forms of beach litter; who are taking part in “Don’t let go” to stop balloon and lantern releases in your area and who are helping us fight the issue of microplastics in beauty products.

We couldn’t have done this without you!

This is your year in pictures.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Do something amazing this year and become an MCS fundraiser!

Have you dreamed of sea kayaking around the UK? Or what about driving all the way to Mongolia? Right now, we even have two fundraisers walking from Cardiff in Wales to Cardiff in Australia to raise funds for our work! These are some of the more extreme challenges that our fundraisers have taken on, we have many challenge events happening closer to home as well as fundraising activities that don’t involve breaking a sweat.

Here are some ideas for fundraising in 2014!

Shed some Christmas pounds and take on a challenge
The Big Sea Swim takes place in Eastbourne every summer where you can take part in a 1km or 3km wild swim. Or if you fancy a land-based challenge, you could join 20,000 cyclists in the RideLondonSurrey100 - a modified version of the London 2012 Olympic Road Race route?

Challenges don’t have to be quite so extreme - many of our fundraisers organise a range of activities such as coastal walks with their family and friends. Take a look at the Wall of Fame to see some of the amazing things our fundraisers have done for our seas.

Why not hold a Big Blue Day?
Holding a Big Blue Day is great fun - all you need is a group of people and some blue stuff - it's that easy! We have volunteers all over the country baking blue cakes, holding blue themed dress down days in their office or school, or inviting their friends over for a sustainable seafood supper to raise a few pounds to protect our oceans. Whatever you do, do it in blue and don't forget that every penny raised really does count! Sea Champion Vicky Saunders raised £200 through a Big Blue Day at her workplace last year.

Love water? You can take part in the Ecover Blue Mile
MCS are the official charity partner of the Ecover Blue Mile for the second year running! Fancy having a go at kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding? Or how about marching with mermaids, walking along the coast or cleaning a beach? Join us at an event near you or have a go at completing your own Blue Mile. Get involved and help us raise a target of £50,000!

Prefer to keep your feet dry? Find a home for a collection box!
Taking part in events isn’t always for everyone so another popular way to fundraise is to find somewhere to display a collection box. You could ask your local aquaria, shop or cafĂ© to display a collection box and then return the donations raised to MCS. It’s as simple as that!

Have a look at our fundraising resources, and get in touch with our Community & Events Fundraiser Tori Williams, or your Volunteer Coordinator to chat about ideas or for more information.