Calls for south coast to become Marine National Park
Campaigners want parts of the South Coast in Dorset, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Sussex to become a national park.
The Blue Marine Foundation is calling for some underwater areas to get the same support as places on land such as the New Forest and South Downs, according to Wave 105.
The foundation would like to see more snorkeling trails, underwater sculpture parks, easier access to water for swimmers and water users, more educational activities and projects to show those on land what is living in the local waters.
Any marine national parks would follow Plymouth Sound, which self-declared that status in 2019 and is now being cited as a great example of efforts to protect Britain’s unique marine environments.
Natasha Bradshaw, who’s involved in the campaign, told Wave 105 it could help protect sea life and boost tourism: “It’s 70 years since national parks on land were designed and we don’t have any in the sea, yet we all love going to the beach and we look out to the lovely open blue space,” she says.
“Over the last few years people have generally understood a little but more about the sea but 70 years ago when national parks were created we didn’t know as much about the sea as we do now.
“Within marine parks there would be marine protected areas, conservation zones, which are designated for their special habitats and species – and by promoting awareness of those special features people will understand and respect their local sea areas more.
“There will be more opportunities to engage with water-based activities, perhaps snorkelling trails.”
The Blue Marine Foundation is currently starting discussions across the UK in areas where they would like to see more protection.
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