The seabed and YOU
23 November 2021 / By Esther Farrant, Education Officer
Our new Education Officer, Esther Farrant, based at Ocean Conservation Trust, talks us through some of the outreach and education highlights from her first few months…
ReMEDIES outreach events and education programme have really been ramping up recently. Several primary schools in Plymouth have now been involved in a seed planting workshop and are keen to follow up with our engineering outreach to learn all about Advanced Mooring Systems (specially designed moorings that reduce interaction with the seabed).
In October, we worked with Parklife Southwest, a grassroots Community Interest Company based in Devon, focused on increasing biodiversity and green corridors for pollinators. The Wembury Recreation Ground is a large grass park lacking biodiversity, and their mission was to create a community engagement project planting wildflower seed. We helped make the wildflower seed bombs with local schools and members of the community – an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of our own planting efforts beneath the waves.
Also in October, we took ReMEDIES to the youth climate summit in Plymouth and showcased how members of the public can be a force for positive change for sensitive seabed habitats. This event rolled out one of our STEM workshops adapted for secondary school engagement and had many young people enthralled to come diving on a seagrass bed through virtual reality.
In the spotlight
With COP26 underway, blue carbon and seagrass have been attracting more attention. Indeed, BBC Morning Live came along to our state-of-the-art cultivation laboratory at the National Marine Aquarium to learn about how we harvest and ripen seagrass seeds, and pack them ready for planting. They also headed out aboard Sound Divers’ new RIB to demonstrate how we’re replanting seagrass in Jennycliff Bay. A great opportunity to spread the word on seagrass and get publicity for the project.
In November we visited Mayflower Marina to talk to Horizons Plymouth Youth club. We partnered up with Citizen Scientist John Hepburn to deliver a combined event with his “Life Beneath the Keel” programme. This was a brilliant evening for young sailors to learn about what lies beneath the keel of their boats and the work that the ReMEDIES partnership is doing to restore and protect valuable underwater habitats. The evening involved watching squabbling crabs fight over mussels, joining a virtual scuba dive through our local seagrass bed, and learning all about responsible anchoring practise. It was an excellent foundation for further engagement with the boat club members and the young peoples’ schools later in the academic year.
We’re about to start seed bag packing again! As well as drop in session by visitors to the National Marine Aquarium, we have more than 100 students from marine science courses at the University of Plymouth and vocational course classes from City College Plymouth coming along. They’ll learn about ReMEDIES and get hands-on involvement in the restoration effort by bagging up 10,000 seed bags for deployment at the end of this month.
Keep an eye on our events page to find out where we’re exhibiting next, or how to take part in our upcoming events.