ReMEDIES at Sail GP
20 July 2021 / By Loveday Trinick, ReMEDIES Education Officer
Now that summer is here and public events are slowly starting to return, the ReMEDIES partnership is getting out and about to showcase our work.
Over the weekend of Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July, we attended The Sail Grand Prix – a huge event in the sailing calendar. It features teams racing against each other in amazing locations around the globe. This year, Sail GP came to Plymouth and, with its incredible waterfront, it made for quite an event.
ReMEDIES partners, The Ocean Conservation Trust (OCT), joined up with Sail GP for the Plymouth stage. Part of this involved running a stand within the Fun Village, located on the iconic Plymouth Hoe. With a fantastic view of the bay, visitors to the village had a great spot to watch the racing while taking part in a range of activities. These included a Virtual Reality experience of underwater habitats, including seagrass meadows.
The ReMEDIES project works to protect and restore seagrass habitat, which ties in well with the tagline for Sail GP – ‘Powered by Nature’. Recently awarded National Lottery Heritage Funding, Plymouth Sound has just been made the first National Marine Park. This aims to encourage people onto the water and under it, to connect with nature and learn to protect this resource. Plymouth Sound National Marine Park has a number of seagrass meadows. These are a qualifying feature for it being a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and provide habitat for juvenile fish and delicate creatures like seahorses. They also provided us with benefits such as carbon capture and coastal protection. With this important ecosystem in decline, a significant part of ReMEDIES’ work is seagrass restoration, and in April 2021 Ocean Conservation Trust began our seagrass planting programme in Jennycliff bay, within Plymouth Sound.
Visitors who met us at Sail GP had a privileged glimpse of this restoration site via live footage beamed directly from the seabed, arranged by our partner Plymouth City Council and supported by North Devon Marine Project. Visitors could also make and take home a wildflower seed bomb – the process of sowing wildflowers replicating that of planting the seabed with seagrass seeds. Boaters had the chance to speak with another of our partners, the Royal Yachting Association, about anchoring and mooring with care and the newly installed Voluntary No-Anchor Zone in Jennycliff.
With Marine Conservation Society Sea Champions working alongside us throughout the weekend, it was a real collaboration of ReMEDIES partners. Together we brought our work to everyone enjoying the sun and racing on Plymouth Hoe and in Plymouth Sound National Marine Park.