The urgency of climate change on our planet cannot be stressed enough. We must act now to help protect the earth for future generations. From simple things everyone can do that collectively can have a big impact, to supporting environmental and sustainability charities who are doing amazing work both in the UK and abroad.
I grew up in Durban, on the east coast of South Africa, and so the beach and ocean has always been a big part of my life. Often marine conservation charities get overlooked in favour of climate and environment charities so I want to highlight some fantastic UK marine conservation charities who are doing such important work to protect our oceans and marine life – not just in the UK but around the world too. I hope this inspires you to either donate, volunteer or get involved in their campaigns.
Ocean Conservation Trust
The Ocean Conservation Trust is a global marine conservation charity, which was founded in the UK over 20 years ago by a dedicated group of marine scientists, researchers, educators and divers. Their mission is to protect the future of our oceans and they exist to restore the ocean and its habitats, centred around creating positive action by people.
Support them by becoming a member, making a donation, fundraising for them and more.
Marine Conservation Society
Marine Conservation Society is a UK-wide charity with a community of ocean lovers who are passionate about ensuring that sea life flourishes, nature flourishes and people thrive. They work with communities, businesses and governments, helping to shape government policies, for a cleaner, healthier and better protected ocean. They have also been a leader in reducing marine pollution for over a decade, through programmes such as The Clean Seas.
There are so many ways to support them, such as taking part in a beach clean, join them in campaigning, doing your own fundraising, volunteering or getting your company to fundraise.
For over 20 years, Blue Ventures has been supporting coastal communities in remote and rural communities to rebuild tropical fisheries and restore ocean life. They work across more than a dozen countries and partner with fishers and community-based organisations to design solutions to strengthen and sustain fisheries management and conservation. They are a marine conservation organisation that puts people first.
You can support them by making a donation, sponsoring a child to go to school or volunteering.
The UOcean Project
The UOcean Project aims to remove 1 Billion kilos of plastics in our canals, rivers and ocean by 2030. They organise clean-ups across the UK and you can see on their website a live tracker of how many clean-ups they’ve done, how many volunteers have helped and how much plastic they’ve removed – giving you a real sense of their impact.
You can support them by making a donation, volunteering to do a clean-up or raising awareness of their work via your social media channels.
Sea-Changers is a charity whose vision is to create a world where the seas and shores are clean and healthy and marine species are protected. They have funded over 200 marine conservation projects around the UK, since 2011. These projects include research, education and direct action. Here are ten ways you can get involved and support their important work.
Did you know that sharks play a vital role in climate change? But a third of shark species is under threat of extinction. Sharks often get a bad rep as ferocious animals, however only 2% of the over 500 species of sharks have caused human fatalities.
Shark Trust is a charity working to protect endangered shark species, transform fisheries to prevent over-fishing and drive sustainable practice and responsible trade for shark products.
You can support them by adopting a shark, making a donation, becoming a member, volunteering, campaigning or fundraising.
Blue Marine Foundation
Blue Marine Foundation is a charity dedicated to addressing one of the world’s biggest environmental problems – overfishing. By preventing overfishing, life in the ocean can be restored. A healthy ocean is a vital function of stabilising our climate.
The charity has a number of marine conservation projects around the world, which includes education projects, blue carbon projects, legal projects and more.
Support their work by making a donation, becoming a BLUE supporter, fundraising or partnering with them.
Surfers Against Sewage
Surfers Against Sewage is a grassroots movement dedicated to the protection of oceans, waves, beaches and wildlife. The charity was founded in 1990 in Porthtowan Village Hall in Cornwall and now have their HQ in St Agnes, close to the sea. With just 20 staff members, the charity punches way above its weight with a large number of activist projects, including their Water Quality Report, Ocean and Climate Report, ending plastic pollution on beaches and huge network of beach clean volunteers across the UK – including Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Support their work by becoming a member, making a donation or getting involved in their projects.
Save Scottish Seas
Save Scottish Seas is a part of Scottish Environment LINK and is a coalition of environmental charities campaigning for healthier seas. Their collective vision is to achieve healthy, well-managed seas, where wildlife and coastal communities can flourish and ecosystems are protected, connected and thriving.
They are funded by the Marine Conservation Society, the John Ellerman Foundation and the William Grant Foundation. How you can support them is through their campaigning work.
I hope you’ve been inspired by these marine conservation charities and the brilliant – and vital – work they are doing to ensure that future generations can live on a healthier, thriving and sustainable planet.