Sussex Wildlife Trust has been awarded a grant of £528,600 by the National Lottery Heritage Fund for its Wild Coast Sussex Project, which aims to inspire Sussex communities to care for the marine environment and enable them to protect their local coast and sea.
Sussex Wildlife Trust is the lead partner on this exciting project with Marine Conservation Society, Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority and Brighton SEA LIFE.
Nikki Hills, Wild Coast Sussex Project Manager at Sussex Wildlife Trust, said: ‘Our partnership champions the rare and precious marine wildlife found locally, highlighting the extraordinary underwater kelp forests, seahorses and rays once abundant in Sussex which could recover and thrive if local communities know about them, understand the threats and support their conservation.
‘The project aims to inspire and connect people to the Sussex coast and sea and engage those people by direct action to protect it. It will enable learning and activities to encourage positive lifestyle choices and behaviour change which in turn will reduce negative impacts on the Sussex coast and sea by empowering people to share experience and influence others.
‘We will work with primary schools, young people (aged 12-25) and commercial fishermen, as well as the wider community and general public and take them on a journey to make a positive difference to the crisis in the health of the sea.’
Project activities will include a Wild Beach education programme for children, onsite and digital interpretation, a programme of citizen science surveys, fun new coastal activities and social events including beach cleans, a volunteer training programme, projects with young adults (16-) to develop local debate, action and opportunities for local marine conservation, and recycling of marine litter, including end of life fishing gear and ghost gear removed from the sea.
Stuart McLeod, Director London & South at the National Lottery Heritage Fund, added: ‘Coronavirus and the resulting lockdown has demonstrated just how important our natural world is to so many. Protecting our natural heritage and improving people’s access and engagement with it is a key priority for National Lottery funding and we are delighted to support Wild Coast Sussex.’
Wild Coast Sussex will target communities all along the Sussex coast with extra focus on Hastings, Bexhill, Eastbourne, Brighton, Worthing and Selsey.
For more info, visit Wild Coast Sussex website.
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