Strandliners becomes an Ocean Ambassador
for the UNA Climate & Oceans

The Love Our Rother event was held  at the Rye Community Centre in February as part of Strandliners’ Preventing Plastic Pollution project in the Rother catchment. Gonzalo Alvarez, Chair of the United Nations Association, Climate and Oceans, who spoke of the climate impact of plastic pollution, made Strandliners an Ocean Ambassador for the UK, and Andy Dinsdale accepted a certificate on their behalf.

Andy Dinsdale wins Platinum Champions Award

Andy Dinsdale, founder of Strandliners, has been awarded a Platinum Champions honour by the Royal Voluntary Service, due to his outstanding commitment to volunteering and service to the community. Only 70 Platinum Champions were chosen in each of the seven categories.

Andy said:

“I would not be receiving this award if it were not for everyone around me, supporting and encouraging me over the last 10 years. I am indebted to the Strandliners family: the Environmental Champions, the directors past and present, our members, our subscribers – all volunteers who join events whatever the weather. I am also grateful to the organisations we have worked with and who have supported us over the years. Thank you.

I am just a cog in the wheel that raises awareness and reminds us to be kinder to this blue marble, home to millions of species, of which we humans are just one. I aim to engage with all who listen to us about the increasing plastic pollution in our environment. I go beyond the beach cleans and litter picks that mask the problems, and have taken many with me on our journey to add value by identifying and recording our pollution, enabling the data to be used as evidence to help stop it at source.  I hope to be doing what is needed for now and the future, working towards being part of a zero-waste world.

At times, when the pressures of this human-led Earth feel overwhelming, it is humbling to receive acknowledgement that what I do is recognised. There are many wonderful people out there as inspiration for others. We are all on a journey. My journey listens to you, attempting to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of us all, generations past, present and future. Thank you.”

You can find out more about the awards here.

Andy Dinsdale wins Prime Minister’s Award

Andy Dinsdale, from East Sussex, created the ‘Strandliners’ initiative to train hundreds of members of the public as citizen scientists, recording and disposing of 870 kilos of toxic waste and marine debris in the Rother basin to better tackle plastic pollution.

Drawing on his experience working in marine education, Andy realised how training volunteers in surveying litter and identifying different types of plastic waste could enable them to act as stewards of the aqua environments in their communities. Last year, ‘Strandliners’ conducted 58 beach and riverbank cleans, along with 26 marine and aqua surveys, working closely with national organisations such as the ‘Marine Conservation Society’ and ‘Surfers Against Sewage’ to conduct clean-ups and raise awareness.

In a personal letter to Andy, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“I know you do this with no thought of praise or reward, but allow me to offer my own recognition of how you are mobilising an army of citizen scientists to record and eradicate the rubbish which blights our precious rivers and coastlines.”

Andy said:

“It’s great to get recognition after the long hours of braving all weathers down on the shore, getting essential data in the unending quest to stem the ever-increasing tide of plastic!

“This award is as much for the many enthusiastic volunteers working with me at ‘Strandliners’ and who care as passionately about our marine environment as I do. 

“I will work harder to enable coastal and inland communities to take charge collecting data through the Strandliners Community Action Team training, so that we can begin to create strategies and lobby organisations to turn the plastic pollution tap off at source.”

Pictured below: Andy and volunteers conducting cleans and surveys in the Rother Basin (credits: Poppy Rampling and Andy Dinsdale)