It is in everyone’s interest to protect the natural environment and ensure that growth is sustainable, in other words, making sure that meeting the needs of the present does not compromise the needs of future generations.
Sustainable practice collectively can have a huge positive impact in a very short period of time. As well as our carbon emissions, we have to consider the impact of our anchors, antifoul and waste, creating plastic-free initiatives, with pressure on our suppliers.
Working alongside key partners like the Green Blue and RYA sustainability teams, and locally with Plastic Free North Devon, the Ocean Conservation Trust, Exeter University and the North Devon Biosphere Reserve to name but a few, we are sharing the workload to increase Ocean Literacy.
There is much to do and creative thinking is required. As a multi-disciplined organisation we are driven to inspire positive change, and provided we give nature the chance, it is incredibly adept at bouncing back.
Long Snouted Seahorse - Credit to Mark Parry, Ocean Conservation Trust
We know we have a massive ocean plastic issue and it is having a devastating impact on marine life. Every piece of plastic waste you see fluttering in a tree or at the side of the road, if it is not collected, it will find its way to a stream, then a river and then the ocean.
It can become so fragmented it ultimately becomes microplastic and enters the food chain. This includes our food chain. One of our founding project friends had her blood tested after 10 years at sea only to find trace elements of 29 of the 35 chemicals banned due to their toxicity in her bloodstream.
The issues are upstream.
As ambassadors for the 5Gyres institution, we follow their protocol for data collection and analysis of plastic pollution. Using our Manta Trawl we sieve the samples and document them into classes of waste and sizes. The analysis from each collection provides insight as to the source. From now until 2030 we are trawling zones in the Celtic Sea and Bristol Channel to find out what pollution travels on our daily tides, and whether it is improving or worsening.
An area of specific interest are the waters within the Biosphere reserve. The Bristol Channel has the second highest tidal range in the world, over ten metres in North Devon. This offers a unique insight along with specific challenges. We are looking for what directly impacts our local marine world, from the local towns to the big cities all along the North and South coasts of the Channel. Our aim is to understand the changes over the next ten years.
This data program is part of a global network of like-minded individuals who want to take action against plastic pollution. We share and collaborate on research, policies and solutions. With growing numbers of groups and organisations fighting the cause, there is now significant progress being made. Data collected locally can be applied locally, inspiring targeted discussions that lead to positive action on land and water.
Located within the UNSECO Biosphere Reserve. we explore one of the most beautiful locations in the British Isles to better understand the impact of plastic pollution in the Bristol Channel.
NDMP provided assistive technology in to monitor this vital ecosystem during the SailGP event in July 2021. Using an ROV we were able to dive beneath the surface to get a better view of the ocean floor and the incredible work of the seagrass restoration project in Jenny Cliff, to the East of Plymouth Sound. Broadcast live to the event arena back on land, we look forward to the 2022 event to see how this specific area of interest has developed.
The North Devon Marine Project joins forces with Plastic Free North Devon to conduct a marine science survey on microplastics in the waters at Ilfracombe Harbour beach. We were also joined by the North Devon Biosphere and British Divers Marine Life Rescue to help raise awareness for ocean literacy and conservation in our local area, promoting citizen science through local volunteers.
Here's what we discovered.
Keep a look out! When out for a coastal walk, when surfing, sailing, scuba diving or relaxing on the beach, there are a number of potential things you could spot. Have you seen an injured seal? A ghost net? An unusual amount of waste on a beach? The sooner we can act, the better the chance our ocean has. so please call it in. Click the link below and make note of the ocean rescue hotlines there. You never know what you'll come across.
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