July 2019

Marine Conservation Zones are protected areas around our coast and earlier this year the government rolled out a new tranche including Beach Head East (adjoining Beach Head West). These have come about from much lobbying from the Marine Conservation Society and other organisations. But the really impressive work, nationally, is the collection of over 500,000 records by volunteers to identify the marine wildlife and habitats. Only when armed by this knowledge could the government make important decisions about which areas to legislate for protection.

And now if we humans are polluting the marine world, we should identify and record what rubbish is out there. 
We need a data rich picture of what’s killing the planet is one headline that caught my attention from Wired. There are also apps out there and there’s the open litter map where genuine sharing of pollution data can be downloaded for free.
And of course nearer to home is our Community Action Teams project, generously funded by Sea-Changers. There are a few spaces still available for the first meeting/training/hands-on session on Sunday 21st July. All participants will help shape this innovative project where we can gather data as citizen scientists to help stop our marine and riverine pollution, just as others gathered data to support the Beach Head East legislation to protect marine species and habitats.

A Brand New Programme – help to get it up and running

  1. We aim to identify local and international pollution on our beaches
  2. Begin to understand what this marine pollution really is.
  3. Discover methods of surveying, either on our own or as part of organised river and beach surveys.

Thanks to generous support from Sea-Changers, a UK marine conservation charity, Strandliners CIC is set to launch a new and exciting community programme in our area: Community Action Teams. We raised the money; now we need your help. Over the next couple of months, Strandliners will recruit and train team-leaders to head local action teams in targeted communities across the River Rother basin: from Heathfield to Hythe, Rotherfield to Rye. 

The point? Over 60% of the toxic waste we regularly pick up on our beaches and riverbanks comes from inland. Our goal is to engage upstream communities in the fight against plastic by establishing locally-organised and managed teams where people live and work; to educate, inform and activate them to become stakeholders and stewards of their own inland aqua-environments: their local rivers, streams, lakes, and standing waters. 

It’s a challenge, but look at the success of citizen scientists helping to create the Beach Head East MCZ. 

To make it work, we need a select group of dedicated women and men – volunteers like you – to train as CATs’ team-leaders, starting now. Help Strandliners shape and refine its programme and learn more by coming to Strandliners’ first CATs meeting.

When: Sunday July 21 from 1.30pm – 5pm

Where: St Nick’s Church, Pett Level, TN35 4EH (next to the Smuggler pub).

What: An indoor and outdoor (bring suitable gear) intensive training programme developed with your input.

Be in at the beginning! And bring your upstream friends too. Numbers are limited due to space & booking is essential.

Refreshments provided – of course! 

Future events

Strandliners CIC will have a stall at these events
Come and see us, we’d love to see some familiar faces

Saturday 27th July – Pett Flower Show
Sunday 29th September – Sustainability on Sea (Hastings Stade)
Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th September – Bexhill Festival of the Sea
Sunday 1st September – Rye Festival of the Sea

Marine Conservation Society beach surveys and cleans
Sunday July 14th – Dungeness, Lydd Ranges – 2pm
Booking needed and a few spaces available. It will involve a 30 minute each way walk on shingle from the car park and back, and approx a 2 hour litter survey. If interested please email for the meeting point. Thank you to those who have already replied.
Friday September 20th – Winchelsea Beach – 4pm
Meet at end of Dog’s Hill Rd, Winchelsea Beach, TN36 4LX.
Saturday September 21st, Dungeness, Lydd Ranges 
More information nearer the time as this is a provisional date needing clearance with the M.O.D.
Sunday September 22nd – Pett Level – 10am
Meet up on sea wall between Smuggler Pub and Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat, Pett Level Rd, TN35 4EH.

The Fairlight Berm – This site will be cleaned and surveyed later this year when the area should be safer to access. Stay tuned for further developments! Due to access there may only be a 1 or 2 week notice, but it should be on a weekend. 

Shoresearch with SWT at Pett Level and Bexhill

Wonderful Sussex Wildlife Trust led events identifying marine wildlife and adding to the Shoresearch dataset. 

The small Brittlestars were my favourite, as well as re-learning some of the seaweeds! But always turn stones and driftwood over carefully as these are the homes for many marine animals and they won’t like being disturbed too much!Visit here for further information.

Definitions and meanings 

If anyone has anything they’d like explaining regarding marine pollution, waste, recycling etc please email your question to us at Strandliners and we’ll attempt to demystify those technical terms!

This month – “Persistent Organic Pollutants”

POPs are a range of substances that include: Intentionally produced chemicals currently or once used in agriculture, disease control, manufacturing, or industrial processes.

They are chemicals of global concern due to their potential for long-range transport, persistence in the environment, ability to bio-magnify and bio-accumulate in ecosystems, as well as their significant negative effects on human health and the environment.

Humans are exposed to these chemicals in a variety of ways: mainly through the food we eat, but also through the air we breathe, in the outdoors, indoors and at the workplace. Many products used in our daily lives may contain POPs, which have been added to improve product characteristics, such as as flame retardants or surfactants. As a result, POPs can be found virtually everywhere on our planet in measurable concentrations.

In the marine environment these POPs are attracted to plastic and hugely increase the levels of toxicity compared to the surrounding ocean.

The most commonly encountered POPs are organochlorine pesticides, such as DDT, industrial chemicals, most notably polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), as well as unintentional by-products of many industrial processes, especially polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDD) and dibenzofurans (PCDF), commonly known as ‘dioxins’.

POPs bio-magnify throughout the food chain and bio-accumulate in organisms. The highest concentrations of POPs are thus found in organisms at the top of the food chain. Consequently, background levels of POPs can be found in the human body.

POPs are highly toxic and exposure can take place through diet, environmental exposure, or accidents.  They negatively affect humans, plant and animal species and natural ecosystems both in close proximity and at significant distances away from the original source of discharge.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persistent_Organic_Pollutant

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