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Wildlife Trust celebrates World Oceans Day with citizen science event

Posted: 7th June 2019

Wildlife Trust celebrates World Oceans Day with citizen science event

On Saturday 8 June, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust will celebrate World Oceans Day with a day of inspiring talks, fun activities, and idea sharing at Royal Victoria Country Park.

Marine Citizen Science Day will bring together key local, national, and international initiatives that use citizen science to make a positive difference to our marine environment. Attendees will be able to find out how citizen science is being used to protect our marine species, and how they can get involved, through talks, activities, and speaking with initiative representatives.

Citizen science is a method of data collection that pools data gathered by many individual volunteers. This allows organisations like the Wildlife Trust to gather more diverse data than they could achieve alone, which can then be used to inform conservation work and support more extensive legal protections for sensitive marine areas.

Most citizen science initiatives require no special knowledge or experience, and many can easily be participated in while out on the coast. They range from reporting sightings of vulnerable marine species to recording plastic litter on our beaches, and can focus on local concerns or wider marine issues such as rising sea temperatures.

Joining Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust at the event will be:

Bird Aware Solent – an initiative raising awareness of the birds that winter on the Solent, with the aim of reducing disturbance.

Blue Marine Foundation – a charity dedicated to creating marine reserves and establishing sustainable models of fishing.

CITiZAN - a national project recording and protecting our coastal heritage, from prehistory through to the present day.

Just One Ocean – a charity promoting research and raising awareness about issues affecting our oceans.

Planet Aware – a consultancy working with local communities, businesses, and individuals to address environmental issues.

Surfers Against Sewage – a grassroots movement tackling plastic pollution and protecting our coastlines.

This event forms part of Secrets of the Solent, a four-year project based at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. The project is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and is celebrating the amazing people and wildlife that share the Solent’s waters through many different activities, including citizen science initiatives.

Commenting ahead of the event, Rachel Bryan, Secrets of the Solent Project Manager, said: “Citizen science is hugely important to the work we do at the Wildlife Trust. The data collected by our brilliant volunteers helps us to better protect the amazing species we have in the Solent, such as cuttlefish, seahorses, and native oysters.

“Taking part in citizen science is not only easy but also fun and rewarding, so it’s a great choice for anyone looking to make a difference to our marine environment. We are very excited to welcome so many great initiatives to this event, and hope lots of people will come along on the day.”

Marine Citizen Science Day will take place in the Empire Room at Royal Victoria Country Park from 10:30 – 15:30 on Saturday 8 June. It is free to attend and no advance booking is required.