Bottlenose dolphins by Harry Hog (used by permission of the Wildlife Trusts)
In the UK, we are never more than 70 miles from the coast. National Marine Week runs from 27th July to 11th August 2019 (actually a fortnight to allow us to take advantage of the changing tides) and showcases the wonderful wildlife around the UK's seas and coasts.
There's loads going on across the country, including rockpool rambles, dolphin and whale watching and seashore safaris (find out what's happening near you here). During the fortnight, organisers The Wildlife Trusts will also launch a new version of their popular citizen science project – Shoresearch. You can find out more about this exciting initiative here - there are several surveys you can take part in to help scientists find out more about marine and seashore life. The data collected through Shoresearch will help experts monitor our fragile sea life and better understand the effects of pollution, climate change and invasive alien species.
The Wildlife Trusts have also published a range of colourful seaside spotter guides and marine activity sheets to help all ages enjoy and protect the beach and rock pools. These include guides to marine megafauna, seabirds, jellyfish, how to reduce your plastic use and even how to make your own basking shark from a discarded plastic bottle!
The Wildlife Trusts recently welcomed the news that the Government is designating a third phase of new Marine Conservation Zones bringing the total to 91 of these specially protected underwater landscapes around our shores.
There are 46 individual Wildlife Trusts across the UK, working for an environment rich in wildlife for everyone. The trusts have more than 850,000 members including 150,000 members of the junior branch Wildlife Watch. Their vision is to create A Living Landscape and secure Living Seas. They run marine conservation projects around the UK, collecting vital data on the state of our seas and celebrating our amazing marine wildlife.