WHO WE ARE
We are a group of Marine and Coastal Scientists and Professionals, as well as people from other walks of life who are passionate about bringing science and citizens together.
We work on a micro-level to achieve change on a bigger scale: By offering a platform where marine scientists and professionals can engage directly with people in coastal communities, we wish to foster a feeling of mutual benefit, increase ocean literacy and help empower coastal communities. By linking up artists and scientists we aim to explore the synergies between art and science.
HOW IT STARTED
We started out on three very basic assumptions:
1. There are many Marine / Coastal Scientists and Professionals who are keen on telling people about their passion.
2. Many of these scientists and professionals like to hike along our beautiful coast.
3. There are many people living in coastal communities who would profit from more knowledge about their natural environment.
HOW WE DO IT
Marine scientists walked stretches of the English Coastal Path, gave talks along the way, hooked up with artists and blogged about their experiences. By the end of 2021 much of the English had been walked by the marine community, with events delivered in around 30 locations. We are mapping our endeavours on an interactive map which allows people to virtually follow our walks and talks. The blog entires about the walks share pictures and impressions, thus introducing the English coast, its beauty and the challenges it faces, to a wider digital public.
In 2022, we focus on our Buddy Programme, which teams up scientists with interested citizens to hopefully help "open up" science to a broader demographic.
The events we deliver are interactive, locally relevant and fun. They are designed to spark interest and encourage further engagement. We work together with local nature conservation groups and artists to make our events attractive and interesting to a broad audience, also to people not normally engaged with conservation work or science. Attendance to all events is free of charge. Wherever possible, talks and/or supporting material will be made available online.
Click below to see pictures of the events we ran in 2021.
WHY WE DO IT
Through enabling people to better understand their surroundings, we aim to empower them, encourage them to take ownership of their communities and develop a sense of self-pride by increasing positive identification with their region's social and natural local heritage. Through connecting marine scientists and professionals with local people, we want to lay the foundations for a more transdisciplinary approach to science and policy in the future.
Read more about our 4-level approach to Ocean Literacy by clicking on the link below.
We have chosen the Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula) because it symbolizes two key aspects of our initiative:
1. As a coastal bird which occurs all around the English coast, it symbolizes life on the land/sea interface. Just as the people of coastal communities, its fate is intrinsically linked to both land and sea.
2. Our initiative wants to promote understanding of our great neighbour, the ocean. In many ways, we aim to make it more accessible to people by providing knowledge and an incitement to "face the sea". In some locations, the Ringed Plover is struggling because too many people are accessing the coast in a non-mindful way. We want to encourage mindful interaction with coastal ecosystems, so that all coastal inhabitants, human and non-human, can thrive.