Our commitment to ocean recovery
Seaton with Slingley Parish Council made an Ocean Recovery Declaration on 16 March 2022. This means we are committed to take action to improve the health of the ocean.
A healthy ocean is vital for our:
- health and wellbeing
- our future prosperity.
At present the ocean is not in good health because of human activity and climate change. We are committed to playing our part, but local government can’t solve the ocean crisis alone. You can also take action to improve the state of the ocean.
What we are doing – Our commitment to ocean recovery
We have declared an Ocean Recovery Declaration and support a global Motion for the Ocean campaign. We have committed to doing all we can to recover the health of the ocean.
This is to:
- protect our beautiful coast and precious wildlife.
- improve residents’ health and wellbeing and reduce pressure on the NHS.
- boost the local economy and create new jobs for local people.
- reduce the inequality in who can access the ocean and support the most disadvantaged in our community.
- provide the best future we can for our children and grandchildren.
What we have already done
Taking action to protect our ocean is new to the Council, and we acknowledged that we want and need to do more. We recognise the value of the ocean in helping us to protect our beautiful coastline. We recognise and acknowledge the work of the SeaScapes scheme, the first of its kind in the UK, which is better connecting our local communities with the ocean.
What we will do
As a result of our Ocean Recovery Declaration, we will take action, wherever possible to assist with ocean recovery. As a small Parish Council we are limited in what we can do but moving forward we pledge to enbed ocean recovery in everything we do from our strategic decisions, budgets and planning. We will also work with partners to assist in ocean recovery. We are committed to playing our part, but local government can’t solve the ocean crisis alone. 80% of marine litter comes from the land and we all have a role to play to reduce this.
What you can do
Below are some examples of what you can do to make a real difference.
What businesses can do
- end the use of balloons for promotion and don’t get involved in any balloon releases.
- reduce the use of single use items such as plastic knives and forks.
- reward customers, such as providing them with an incentive if they bring their own reusable containers or cutlery.
- pick up litter in and around your business.
- encourage or support local community activities such as litter picks.
- reduce your carbon footprint.
- ensure that the correct items go down the drain – i.e. no cooking fat or wet wipes.
- sell only sustainable seafood, ideally caught locally and in season.
What residents can do
Residents can make a difference to our environment and our towns and neighbourhoods.
Please try to:
- put all your litter in a bin or take it home with you.
- recycle your waste – there’s lots of items you can recycle.
- join an organised beach clean or litter pick.
- don’t release balloons or sky lanterns, they can harm or kill birds and marine wildlife. Instead consider a memorial or celebration event that includes an activity such as bubble blowing.
- shop local and buy only sustainable seafood ideally locally caught and in season.
- reduce single-use items at home or when you are out and about. For example, if you’re going for a picnic take your own reusable containers or cutlery with you.
- ensure only the correct items go down the toilet or drain – no cooking fat, wet wipes or other items.
- walk or cycle to reduce your carbon footprint.
- don’t light fires on beaches or in parks – only have BBQs where signs say it is allowed.
- bag your dog waste and put it in the bin (any litter bin will do) – never hang a bag on a tree or leave it on the ground.
- volunteer with an organisation such as SeaScapes. Individuals, community groups or schools can get involved.
Even if you don’t live at the coast your actions will have an impact. For example, litter dropped anywhere (even as small as a cigarette end) can eventually end up in the sea.
What visitors can do
If you are visiting the coast you can help protect the beautiful coastline and countryside by following the Countryside Code.
- put litter in the nearest bin or take it home with you – if you brought it, take it home.
- don’t feed or harm the wildlife.
- follow any guidance messages about the use of disposable BBQs.
- leave only footprints on our beaches.
You can also encourage your council to make their own Ocean Recovery Declaration and to take action to protect the ocean. For more details, see Ocean Conservation Trust: Motion for the Ocean.
What we want the government to do
We have asked the government to:
- properly fund Inshore Fisheries and Conservation authorities.
- develop national policy in collaboration with coastal communities.
- appoint a dedicated Minister for Coastal Communities.
- produce a national Ocean Recovery Strategy.
- stop plastic pollution at source.