Seas For Life – North Devon Success

This February 24th – 28th SAS delivered the Seas For Life education programme to almost 1000 students in schools across North Devon.

SAS launched this fantastic initiative at the iconic Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe on Monday the 24th. With students form Ilfracombe Primary School, Ilfracombe Academy and Petroc College taking part in a series of innovative and interactive sessions covering a cross-section of marine pollution issues, associated wildlife & habitat impacts and offering coastal communities, schools and individuals sustainable, achievable solutions through positive citizenship and community activities.

Local writer, surfer and TV presenter and outdoor cook extraordinaire Martin Dorey (AKA the Campervan Cook) also gave an inspirational talk before heading out to his campervan to cook some sea bass, fresh from the wharf in Clovelly, with the students. With two youngsters from Ilfracombe Academy trying fish for the very first time and giving it a resounding thumbs up! Martin incorporates ‘green’ messages in all his work and champions fresh, local and sustainable produce.

We received great feedback from teachers and students alike, Victoria Brooks Ilfracombe Junior School Teacher said; “It was a great day, we’ll be using the things that we learned to influence our art work for the next half term! We will send you some :)”

The launch event was followed by a tour of schools in fishing and other coastal communities across North Devon. The SAS education team delivered Seas For Life education sessions in primary and secondary schools including West Down, Berrynarbour, Woolacombe, Ilfracombe Academy, Kingsley in Bideford, West Buckland in Barnstaple, Instow CP School and Combe Martin. We met with Year 1 students in Kingsley School who skippered their own fishing boats (in the school hall!) to learn about sustainable fishing and taking ownership of the sea and spoke with Year 10s in West Buckland about the horrifying gender bending properties of the hydrophopic pollutants that are attaching themselves to marine plastics!

The Seas For LIfe education programme covers our latest campaigns on water quality, marine litter, climate change, toxic chemicals, shipping and coastal wave protection. A strong focus is also the introduction of and encouragement towards citizenship and how students can have a positive impact on the marine environment to contribute to safeguarding fisheries, oceans, waves and beaches, and other coastal assets. In real terms this meant that every school was challenged by our education team to become Think Before You Flush schools (we haven’t shouted the 4Ps so many times in a week before!) and to organise their own Big Spring Beach Clean.

Surfers Against Sewage has developed this project with the support from Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) Northern Devon. A partnership of stakeholders from all aspects of Northern Devon’s fishing community the NDFLAG aim is to – “create the conditions for the sustainable development of the Northern Devon fishing community by increasing opportunities through a range of complementary measures”, such as the SAS Seas For Life education programme.

We’ll be taking the Seas For Life education programme out to other regions of the UK this year, so if your school would like to invite us to visit please contact [email protected].