Friday, 28 March 2014

Priority Beachwatch beaches mapped!

Sea Champions can now sign up as Beachwatch Organisers on our priority beaches thanks to office Sea Champion Mary-Lou Wheeler.

Mary-Lou has done a fantastic job mapping all the beaches we have historic litter data for, but no longer have Beachwatch Organisers running surveys.

Mary has kindly donated around 35 hours of her time mapping these priority beaches, so that you can see where help is most needed.

Patrick Joel, Sea Champions Volunteer Coordinator for South West England says: "As a result of this brilliant achievement, six Sea Champions have already registered to organise Beachwatch surveys on stretches of coastline in the south west. Thank you very much Mary-Lou!"

Have you found a beach you like the look of? Then let your Volunteer Coordinator know!

View the priority beach map here>>

These are our priority beaches where we really need new Beachwatch Organisers!


Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Sea Champion Alex tame's the Great Glen!

The Ecover Team Go Blue! took on the Great Glen AND the weather to paddle non-stop for over 15 hours to raise funds for MCS.

Sea Champion Alex Milden, from Lostwithiel in Cornwall, faced snow, sleet, blizzards and sub-zero temperatures for the 57-mile coast-to-coast Great Glen Paddle between Fort William and Inverness at the weekend.

The team was led by Olympic canoe slalom C2 champion Tim Baillie and round-the-world racing yachtsman Conrad Humphreys. The 5-strong team also journalist Debbie Graham from Wild Travel Magazine; and Ecover Blue Mile participant and volunteer Katia Vastiau.

Setting off in their Fatyak Mahee kayak at 2.26am, Team Go Blue’s aim was to complete the course in one day – and they succeeded, reaching the finish line 15 hours and 18 minutes later, just as dusk was falling.

Olympic champion Tim Baillie is used to white water slalom racing over short distances so for him, this was an entirely different challenge: “I’ve never started a race at 2 in the morning before so that was a new experience! It wasn’t as continually demanding of your attention as the canoe slalom so the challenge was different in that respect too."

“We got to experience every sort of weather, it really was four seasons in one day but we all worked together really well and cheerfully. And the scenery, when we could see it, was stunning.”

Conrad added: “The weather threw everything at us! The conditions were extremely challenging, but wow, what a beautiful place to paddle. The scenery was absolutely stunning and I was really proud of our team who kept smiling throughout. It was a great event to take part in.”

There are plenty more Ecover Blue Mile events coming up over the summer, or you could even organise your own to raise funds for MCS. Find out more>>

Team Go Blue! taking on the Great Glen

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Scottish "Marine Litter Strategy" - Sea Champions have their say!

The results are in from the recent public consultation on the draft Scottish 'Marine Litter Strategy'.

The findings show how much people value the marine environment - as most respondents said they want to see significant investment, and a centralised approach to tackling marine litter.
Thanks to all you Scottish Sea Champions for taking part!

We'll be following up on this in the coming months to push for the best action and outcomes for our seas.
Read the Draft Marine Litter Strategy here>>

Monday, 17 March 2014

Could YOU go plastic free?

Sea Champion Charlotte Gee, from Bristol, gives us an account of her first week living single use plastic free:

"I've made some dramatic changes in the first week of the challenge. I’m making home-made bread, refilling detergent bottles, opting for plastic free fruit and veg, getting cheese from deli counters and self-weighing dried foods like herbs and spices, coffee, dried fruit and even pasta. I take containers with me, as well as reusable bags when I go shopping now.” 

“I’ve even managed to find unpackaged loo roll from ScoopAway and The Better Food Company!

Is it easier or harder than you thought?
"It is certainly challenging and everything I buy has to be inspected, meaning the amount of time to do a food shop is doubled. Also planning where to go and what I need to get has to be thought out in advance. Luckily in Bristol we have some amazing shops that are very conscious about their ecological footprint, so most things I can get my hands on. I suppose I am just giving up convenience for a healthier lifestyle."

Plastic-free toothpaste has been a particular challenge though, so I’m going to make it myself!”

What has inspired you to take on this challenge?
" My main inspiration is the oceans and how they are a life support system to not only marine life but also land based organisms and us, the humans. The intense overfishing, degradation and general disregard of the oceans and its inhabitancy has really hit home for me.

“If I can make people more aware about the issue of plastics in our oceans then hopefully together we can make a difference and turn the devastating effects around.”

Will you continue after Lent is over?
Carrying on after Lent will be a natural progression I feel. I have really only just begun and already I have notice how reliant we are as a society on plastic, buying products unnecessarily wrapped in one-use plastic is not something I want to carry on doing. So if I can avoid it I will.

There are lots of ways to take part in the Plastic Challenge, find out more>>

Sea Champion Charlotte Gee during her first week of the Plastic Challenge!