Friday, 23 December 2011

50 Ways to Be a Sea-Changers Part Three


Ways to be a Sea-Changer #31  
Consider how you can recycle and reduce the rubbish going into landfill/the sea. We came across some great ideas:
  • Check out cleaning products from Method who use recycled plastic found in the oceans to make their product containers. 
  • How about this…a 101 ideas of how to recycle a woodenpallet. Made my pallet fence on the allotment look pretty tame!
  • Finally we came across this cool website with some top recycling ideas.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #32  
Create the next generation of Sea-Changers and check out the new marine magazine for kids called ‘Sea-Urchins. With a host of celebrities and well-known names from the world of music, television and nature lining up to get involved; the magazine promises to make science cool and fun for kids and at the same time make subjects like the ocean, marine life and diving accessible.  The first issue of Sea Urchins, which will initially be produced quarterly, comes out in February 2012 with a minimum print run of 25,000 copies and will provide an excellent vehicle for reaching boys and girls aged 5 -15.  You can download the pilot copy for free.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #33  
Campaign for the establishment of marine reserves. A SHOCKING 0.6% OF OUR WORLDS OCEANS ARE PROTECTED and it simply isn’t enough. The establishment of large-scale networks of marine reserves, urgently needed to protect marine species and their habitats, could be key to reversing global fisheries decline. For more information and to sign a petition campaigning for more reserves check out Greenpeace or the Blue Marine Foundation.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #34  
Too cold to go out, bored of programmes on the TV. Here’s a solution….Watch Sharkwater and be inspired to action to save our sharks 

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #35 
Learn about the oceans and  the issues that effect them. The more we understand the seas, the more we can identify action that will help to ensure their future health. There are some great books and websites around but why not try downloading the Naked OceansPodcast and listen to some fascinating stuff about the oceans and marine conservation whilst on the go. Visit    or visit Itunes.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #36
Become a Sea-Changer business. If you run a diving business we need you. We are looking for dive retailers, holiday companies and training companies to become work with us and support marine conservation. It is easy to do, will cost you nothing and will enhance your environmental credentials. It will also make a massive difference to the seas. Email us on info@sea-changers.org.uk  to find out more. 

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #37
This Holiday Season why not consider the sea and the environment in the presents you buy. Go for  presents that are made from recycled material,  that cut down on future waste and that reduce water pollution and so on.  There are some great gifts that your family and friends will love and will also have a positive effect on the environment. This can be a very wasteful time of year but by thinking outside of the box you can find gifts for everyone which can go a long way towards reducing some of your wastage.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #38 
Get on your bike. Reducing global warming requires us all to make changes in our lifestyle. In December a new climate deal has been signed in Durban and our challenge is what we will do individually to impact on the environment. Many of us jump in our cars for short journeys around town without a second thought. A great way to save money on petrol and cut down on our CO2 emissions is to commit to walking or cycling instead of driving for journeys we need to make under two or three miles. In 2012 why not make a commitment to do things differently and leave the car parked where we can.










Ways to be a Sea-Changer #39 
Engage the Sea-Changers of tomorrow in the sea and marine conservation. The Marine Conservation Society have a cool website for kids that contains facts, games, puzzles, and video to excite and interest children about marine life and marine issues. There are also materials which can be downloaded and used in schools. 

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #40  
Book the Cool Seas Roadshow for your local school. The Cool Seas Roadshow is a spectacular marine wildlife learning experience for schools. The Roadshow entertains and raises awareness and understanding about the importance of our fantastic marine wildlife. Presenter Andy Starbuck thrills pupils and teachers alike with his life-size, inflatable whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles, seals and porpoises. Through a series of interactive role-plays with volunteers from the audience, Andy explains the threats our marine wildlife face and how we can all help in protecting these amazing creatures.If you are interested in booking the Cool Seas Roadshow for your school, e-mail the MCS at info@mcsuk.org

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #41  
Adopt or Sponsor a Whale or Dolphin. The lives of whales and dolphins are under threat from the introduction of toxic contaminants into the ecosystem, exposure to marine litter with risk of entanglement and ingestion, boat collisions, noise pollution, and the general damage and degradation of their marine habitat.
Help safeguard a whale or dolphin for future generations for as little as £3.50 per month through organisations like the Hebridean Whale andDolphin Trust.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #42  
Do you run a surfing related business?  Why not become a Sea-Changer business. We are looking for surfing retailers, and training companies to become work with us and support marine conservation. It is easy to do, will cost you nothing and will enhance your environmental credentials. It will also make a massive difference to the seas. Email us on info@sea-changers.org.uk to find out more.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #43  
Are you thinking about where to go on holiday next year. Consider the environment when planning your trip:
  • Avoid the plane and take a train
  • Book through a travel agency that considers eco tourism or is a Sea-Changer business
  • If you are going to dive, use a dive school that has an active commitment to the local sea environment.
  • Research  green travel options. The Guardian publish a useful Green Travel Guide.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #44  
Think about the marine environment while you are on your holidays. For example;
  • Don't dispose of litter in the sea (or anywhere else other than a bin). Turtles mistake clear plastic waste for jellyfish and can die if they eat it.
  • Don't drive motorised vehicles on the beach. Compacted sand makes it hard for turtles to dig nests.
  • Research marine tour operators and don't use those that disturb or harass wildlife such as dolphins.
  • Avoid restaurants that serve undersized crabs and lobsters as this contributes to the species' demise.
  • Don't buy shells or other marine products as this encourages the destruction of the beaches and reefs. Empty shells provide homes for hermit crabs and some fish.
  • Don't remove, damage or touch corals. They are living organisms that take years to grow and support many species.
  • Avoid wearing sun tan lotions/products that are non-organic/toxic

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #45  
Get stuck in to some practical marine conservation. CoralCay Conservation offer some great opportunities to travel, learn and undertake some really valuable and practical marine conservation work. Win/Win/Win.

50 Ways to be a Sea-Changer #46 
Planning your Christmas holiday menus? Why not try something a bit different. The Fish Fight Website has some mouth-watering recipes that all use sustainable fish such as Pepper mackerel salad with vegetable crisps.  

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #47
Tweet, blog, talk, message, post, shout, gossip, share, write about Sea-Changers....to everyone and anyone. We are working to create a growing movement of Sea-Changers (retailers & members of the public who want to make a real difference to marine conservation). So help spread the word about Sea-Changers, the work we are doing and make 2012 the year we begin to see a real Sea-Change.

50 Ways to be a Sea-Changer #48 
Become a volunteer for Sea-Changers. As a new charity there is lots of work we need to do and never enough time/people to do it. So, if you have skills you think may be of benefit to us, and time to give, we would love to hear from you.  The areas we would find particularly useful are; writing, grant applications, sales & marketing, IT/web design, creative/art, finance, & retail. But most importantly we want to work with people who are passionate to make a difference to the marine environment and enthusiastic about the work of Sea-Changers. If you would like to find out more or have a chat about possibly becoming a Sea-Changers volunteer drop us an email with your name and contact details to: info@sea-changers.org. We would love to hear from you.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #49 
Be a super supporter - undertake a sponsored event for Sea-Changers in 2012. Swim, run, bike ride, parachute jump, walk, knit, bungee jump, bake, surf, sail, coffee morning etc etc  and raise funds for Sea-Changers work. All the work of Sea-Changers is done on a voluntary basis and finded through donations and sponsored events. Your effots will allow our work to continue.



Ways to be a Sea-Changer #50  
Think about the difference you want to make to the oceans & commit to as many of the 50 ways to be a Sea-Changer as you can. It is easy to sit back and think “Oh someone else will sort that out the problems of marine conservation”. But if the sea problems are going to turn around we each need to start taking responsibility & taking action, no matter how large or small. Over the last 50 days we have given you a range of things you can do that will make a difference to the seas. We hope you have enjoyed these, & found them interesting. But most of all we hope we have given you some ideas about the difference you can make. So, what are you going to do to be a Sea-Changer in 2012?

‘Will tomorrow's child ask why we did nothing on our watch to protect the sharks, tuna, coral reefs, and the other threatened life of our living oceans?’ Sylivia Earle

Sunday, 4 December 2011

50 Ways to Be a Sea-Changer Part Two


Ways to be a Sea-Changer #16 
Ditch those plastic bags. According to Plastic Oceans, annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide and more than one million bags are used every minute. A plastic bag has an average “working life” of 15 minutes and Plastic Pollution is having a significant environmental impact particularly on marine life and coastlines. So make a difference to marine conservation by investing in some reusable bags to use when doing you go to the shops Why not try out Onya Bags?

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #17  
Think Again About Fish Farming. Many of us assume that farmed fish are a sustainable solution to over-fishing problems. But there are a range of environmental concerns associated with fish farming including:
        Dependence on industrial fisheries of wild fish stocks, for manufacture of fish-feed.
        Spread of disease and sea lice to and from wild stocks.
        Impacts on wild salmon stocks through escaped farmed salmon interbreeding with wild salmon.
        Nutrient pollution (from faeces and waste food) building up underneath cages and being suspended in the water column.
If you choose farmed fish, choose only organic farmed fish or fish from well-managed farms. You can find out lots more about sustainable fish farming on this video on responsible fish supply.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #18  
Think Before You Flush! Every day people flush objects such as cotton buds, sanitary products, condoms and razors down the toilet instead of putting them in the bin. Do you? This can have a huge negative impact on the water environment. From now on, only flush stuff that has passed through you and the toilet paper you use. Visit Surfers Against Sewage for more info.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #19 
Going out for a meal? Ask the restaurant if the fish they are serving is sustainable. If you want more information on restaurants that are already serving sustainable fish visit Fish to Fork.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #20  
Spend a cosy night in watching a good video. There are some great DVDs available which really shed light on the big issues facing marine conservation today. A good starting point is the ‘End of the Line’ film which focuses dramatically on the issues of over fishing and the impact of this on the ocean and our future.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #21 
Boycott Dolphinariums
For many of us, our first (and sometimes only) encounter with dolphins and whales comes from seeing them in Dolphinariums such as Sea World. Whilst this can be an amazing experience for the customer to see such amazing and intelligent mammals so close up it is not a positive experience for the animal. Whales and dolphins kept in unnatural, cramped environments experience great stress and this impacts drastically on their health. So boycott Dolphinariums and if you want to go a step further, campaign for the release of dolphins and whales where they are kept in captivity.


Ways to be a Sea-Changer #22 
Learn about Whales and Dolphins in the wild and find out how surveying them can help to protect their future. The Sea Watch Foundation run a great two day programme from which you can learn all about these amazing animals as well as gain practical skills in how to carry out cetaceans surveys from land or sea. This means you can help provide invaluable survey data on whales and dolphins sightings around our coasts. You learn lots and gain skills to help SeaWatch learn more about cetaceans around our shores – win, win.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #23
Enjoy a walk along your local beach. Be inspired by it, remind yourself how fantastic the ocean makes you feel….and make sure you leave it in better shape that you found it:
  • Don’t walk on the dunes
  • Take along a rubbish bag and pick up any litter you find
  • If you are walking the dog – clean up after them
  •  Have a great day.









Ways to be a Sea-Changer #24  
Watch the movie ‘The Cove’ This amazing film will open your eyes about how dolphins that are kept in captivity are captured. Shocking and gripping…you will never think of Flipper in the same way again.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #25 
Buy only sustainable fish. Scientists predict that if we continue fishing as we are now, we will see the end of most seafood by 2048.  Industrial fishing has depleted stock of tuna, cod, swordfish and marlin by as much as 90 percent.
One choice we have, is to eat less fish. Another is to only buy fish that is from well-managed sustainable sources. Download the Marine Conservation Society Good Fish Guide to ensure you make great fish choices 

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #26  
Conserve energy to help the seas and yourself. Conserving energy not only keeps your bills down but also reduces the impact of energy stations which can poison ocean waters and contribute to global warming. Loads of energy providers give advice on saving energy and a quick search can lead you to some great tips.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #27 
Become a Sea-Changer business. If you run a sailing business we need you.  We are looking for chandleries, boat sales and sailing training companies to become work with us and support marine conservation. It is easy to do, will cost you nothing and will enhance your environmental credentials. It will also make a massive difference to the seas. Email us on info@sea-changers.org.uk to find out more.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #28  
Dive responsibly.
Diving can impact on the ocean but there are some simple steps we can take to ensure we keep our environmental impact low. Areas to consider include:
  • Be aware of your body and equipment placement when diving
  • Keep your dive skills sharp through continuing education
  • Consider how your interactions affect aquatic life
  • Understand and respect underwater life
  • Be an eco-tourist
  • Report environmental disturbances or destruction
  • Don’t collect shells/marine life when diving
  • Get involved in local environmental activities and issues.
Read more here: Project Aware Tips

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #29 
Traveling over Christmas to see family and friends?  Book your ticket via easyfundraising and raise money to fund our work with your ticket purchase. Plan a great trip and raise money for marine conservation in a super simple way.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #30 
Is it just us or do you sense a growing movement of people keen to make a real difference to the state of our oceans and marine conservation? We would love you all to get involved in sharing your ideas about how to Be a Sea-Changer. So come on, post your marine conservation ideas and news on our Facebook page or blog site.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

50 ways to be a Sea-Changer Part One


In the countdown to Christmas Sea-Changers started a Twitter and Facebook campaign, ‘50 Ways to be a Sea-Changer’. We’ve been posting a new idea each day about how you can be a Sea-Changer and make a real difference to the oceans and contribute towards marine conservation. We would love it if you join in, post your own ideas or comment on Twitter and Facebook. If you are a marine conservation group or organisation your ideas are welcome too. If you tweet just tag  #BeASeaChanger & we'll share! So to start us off in this three part blog…here’s entries #1-15.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #1.
Let’s start with an easy one….make Sea-Changers Facebook page your own.
  • Post your marine conservation stories, ideas and thoughts on our Facebook page. Inspire others to take action for the sea.
  • Share, like and comment on Sea-Changers’ posts.
  • Get involved in our ‘Be a Sea-Changer’ campaign by posting your own suggestions on how to change the sea for the better.
  • Recommend the page to five of your friends.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #2. 
Recommend Sea-Changers to your favourite dive, sailing cruise or surf company and ask them to become Sea-Changers Business. Or tell us about your local marine retailer and we will get in touch with them.It would be great to add to our growing list of Sea-Changer businesses who are working for marine conservation.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #3.
Fancy a tuna sandwich for lunch? Make sure it is sustainable. Pole and line caught tuna is a better choice than purse-seine netted tuna, as it has close to zero by-catch of other species such as turtles, sharks and rays. A ‘purse seine’ is a large net which can be drawn closed like a purse, trapping everything inside. When you buy, read the labelling or look out for Marine Stewardship Council symbol.
 
Ways to be a Sea-Changer #4.
Clean a beach. There are some great beach clean events to get involved in and it is a great way to make a very practical difference. If you are UK based check out Marine Conservation Society and their Beachwatch scheme or come along to our MCS beach clean at Sandsend

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #5.
Be green when sailing on the Blue.
Recreational boating can generate pollution and environmental problems. As more and more of us take to the water we risk damaging the sea but there are some simple steps we can take to ensure we keep our  environmental impact low. Areas to consider include:
  • How to use oils and fuel
  • Which cleaning products have low environmental impact 
  •  Disposing of waste carefully
  • Ensuring you dispose of sewage correctly, and
  •  Respecting  wildlife whilst out sailing
The Green Blue offer some great advice to sailors about minimising their  environmental impact so visit their website.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #6.
Raise money for Sea-Changers and marine conservation whilst doing your Christmas Shopping online. Sign up to easyfundraising and raise money to fund our work with every purchase.

Ways to be a Sea-Changers #7
Act now to save our Marine Conservation Zones
An urgent request....The Marine and Coastal Access Act of 2009 promised a coherent network of protection around our coasts by 2012. This September, after two years of consultation the regional stakeholder projects recommended a network of 127 MCZs in English and Welsh offshore waters. It looked as though we had finally achieved a solid foundation on which to build an ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas. However, it has now become apparent that Defra may reduce the number of recommended Marine Conservation Zones put forward for consultation by the UK Government and the public next year. It is vital that the entire network is consulted on; any reduction in the number of MCZs will weaken the network from the very beginning.    
The Wildlife Trusts are asking us to place immediate pressure on the Parliament Under-Secretary for Natural Environment and Fisheries, Richard Benyon MP to ensure Defra does not reduce the number of Marine Conservation Zones going forward for consultation in 2012. We would be very grateful if you could write to the Minister highlighting your concerns and share The Wildlife Trusts Petition Fish Campaign with all your friends and family.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #8.
Ask your local supermarket to stock sustainable fish and to remove endangered fish from the shelves. Check out: The Bite Back website and support their supermarket campaign.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #9.
Use your mobile phone to save the seas. Donate to Sea-Changers by texting SEAS10£1 to 70070 and raise funds to fund our marine conservation work.









Ways to be a Sea-Changer #10
Review the cleaning products you use. Toxins from household cleaning products end up going through the sewage system and into the oceans where they concentrate in plankton, which feeds small fish, which in turn feed larger fish which, in the end, we may eat. It is not clear what the impact of toxins in the sea has on us when we swim, dive or surf, but we have to assume it’s not good. There are green alternatives out there, so check the labels and make the change.
For more information on this, check out the Surfers against Sewage website.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #11
Think About Who is The Real Predator.
There have been a number of shark attacks around the world this year. But here is something to consider. Who is really the dangerous predator? Whilst it is of course a tragedy when someone is killed by a shark, the very fact that it makes global news headlines is because it is such a rare thing. In the meantime here are some killer statistics you don’t get on the news:
Around 100 million sharks are slaughtered by human beings each year – that is over a quarter of a million sharks every single day. By 2017 it is anticipated that 20 species of shark could become extinct due to hunting, and indiscriminate fishing techniques. 
This is because shark fins are so highly prized. They have become one of the world's most precious commodities. Visit The Bite Back website to find out how you can campaign against selling shark fins in restaurants and supermarkets in the UK.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #12
Raise money for Sea-Changers whilst searching online for your Christmas present ideas. Go to Easysearch. If every Sea-Changers Facebook friend did ten searches a week through easy search you could raise £300+ per year!

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #13
Ask Father Christmas for a Reusable Bottle for Christmas. 12,500 plastic bottles are thrown away every 8.3 seconds. Many end up on our beaches or in our seas. Keep your self hydrated with an ocean friendly option : Try the bottles sold by Onya Bags

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #14
Campaign for the establishment of more marine reserves. A SHOCKING 0.6% OF OUR WORLDS OCEANS ARE PROTECTED and it simply isn’t enough. The establishment of large-scale networks of marine reserves, urgently needed to protect marine species and their habitats, could be key to reversing global fisheries decline. For more information and to sign a petition campaigning for more reserves check out Greenpeace or the Blue Marine Foundation.

Ways to be a Sea-Changer #15
Read the Sea-Changers blog, post a comment and recommend it to five friends or marine businesses you think may be interested.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

The Good, The Bad or The Ugly - What Will Work Best?

I was chatting to a marine retailer a week or so ago who is keen to become a Sea-Changer business and work with us to raise money for marine conservation. As a surfer, he was so passionate about the sea that working with us seemed, to him, such an obvious choice. On the same day I spoke to a number of other marine retailers who showed no interest in the work we are doing at all. They listened to how Sea-Changers works with businesses, the potential benefits to their business in becoming involved and the difference we are hoping to make to marine conservation. At the end of the conversation one said “That sounds like a good idea but it is not relevant for us, thanks for calling”. 

Alongside this I have friends and family who have been really supportive in principle of our work at Sea-Changers but show no interest in the issues surrounding marine conservation. One friend told me recently: “I do love the sea but I’m not really that interested in marine conservation”. To an extent I do I respect that view – we are all different and feel passionate about different things. I  certainly have no right to insist that others care about something, just because I do. But this all leads me to the same questions, which I am struggling to answer, and which are fundamental to our approach and future success at Sea-Changers

What makes people who enjoy the sea (and may make their living from it) care enough to engage in and contribute to its health and conservation? or
What turns a sea enthusiast or a marine retailer into someone who cares enough to support the cause? 

If Sea-Changers is really going to succeed, then figuring out the answer to this is essential. We need marine businesses to see the health of the oceans as relevant to their success and, we need sea-users to want to give back to the ocean. So if you can answer that question ….. post your thoughts below. So here are my initial ideas for engaging people in marine conservation: 
  • Shouting very loudly “We need to do something and we need to do it now”; 
  • Dressing up as a turtle for the next year and wandering around handing out information to all and sundry; 
  • Mentioning the issues affecting the oceans in all future conversations I have – from the hairdresser, to the queue at the supermarket; 
  • Having a tattoo listing the problems facing our oceans tattooed on my forehead, so everyone I meet can read about it… 
Okay, I know there are better ways…..and I may sound desperate. But that is because we are facing a crisis. The seas will be more or less empty of fish within our lifetimes if we don’t act and less than 1% of charitable giving in the UK currently goes towards this issue. But maybe the negative messages don’t work….too much doom and gloom. So, instead perhaps we need to focus on a more constructive and positive approach. This might include: 
  • Communicating the positive business case for why supporting marine conservation really does make sense for marine based businesses. 
  • Explaining that the work we support can make a massive difference to creating cleaner oceans and beaches and saving endangered marine species. 
  • Reminding sea-users of all the lovely moments they have in or on the sea, and how important a clean, healthy and abundant sea is to their life. 
  • Gently pointing out that supporting us will ensure continued enjoyment and continued profit from the seas. 
 In short, I’d love your views – what should the balance be between the positive and negative side of our story? Should we emphasise the good the bad or the ugly?

Monday, 5 September 2011

Building a Turnstile on the Sea

In 2010, I along with the world, watched in horror as the disaster of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion unfolded. Over the following weeks my sense of helplessness and frustration about what was happening to the marine environment and the local communities impacted upon by this tragedy  grew. And I knew I had to do something to make a difference.

For the previous ten years I, and my dive-buddy Rachel, had seen for ourselves a change in marine environments all over the world. Coral bleaching, less abundant fish, more rubbish on beaches and in the sea, polluted seawater and so on. It was becoming obvious that the sea was in trouble. We were no marine experts, just two people who loved the sea and felt privileged to be able to enjoy its beauty when we went diving. It was becoming hard to ignore the problems.
And then one day last year we had an idea….the way that we could make a difference - our thinking went like this:
  • No one has ever directly asked us to contribute to marine conservation or to give something back in return for the privilege of enjoying the sea.
  • We love the sea and want to make a difference.
  • Millions of other people who enjoy the sea (diving, sailing, surfing, going on boats) must have sometimes felt like we do and want to make a difference too.
  • It should be possible to harness that passion, which so many of us have for the oceans, to make a real contribution to marine conservation.
And out of this rambling conservation came a very simple idea…..
Imagine if there was a turnstile on the sea and every time anyone went diving, for a surf, sailing or on a cruise they were somehow asked to give a pound, a dollar or a euro as a kind of entry fee…..you could raise millions for marine conservation.  It would also make the person enjoying the sea feel good, and lots of small contributions like that would make a huge difference to the amount of money available for marine conservation work.

Out of this embryo of an idea grew the concept that eventually became Sea-Changers, a charity set up in May 2011 with the sole purpose of raising funds for marine conservation (www.sea-changers.org.uk).  We haven’t quite set up a gigantic turnstile that anyone can see, but we are starting to create a slightly different variation on this basic idea. Our main fundraising model is simple - we develop partnerships with retailers who are selling something to sea-users: a cruise holiday, a dive trip, a new piece of boat kit, a wetsuit. The retailer offers the customer the opportunity to make a small contribution to marine conservation when they are paying their bill. The donation is entirely optional. Other fund raising models we are developing include our text approach which will target sea-users more directly - after a great day on the beach or in the sea we want to encourage people to text their “turnstile” payment to us.

It is early days for Sea-Changers. We are building relationships with other charities, membership organisations and most importantly with our future partners – the retailers. In September we start fundraising with our first retail partnerships which include a dive holiday company and a boat and boat supplies retailer. Several more partnerships are coming on line over the next months including a sailing training provider. All our work is carried out on a voluntary basis and we have benefitted from the generosity of family, friends, colleagues who have contributed money, time, ideas and services to help get us started – it has been amazing and wonderful.

When we talk to retailers about the idea of Sea-Changers reactions are mixed, some are sceptical:
  • “It’s a great idea, but it wouldn’t work here”
  • “Customers won’t bear any additional costs in the current economy”
  • “It will be difficult to administer and we don’t have the time”
  • “Our customers don’t care about contributing the sea”
But then there are others who respond differently:
  • “It’s easy and simple to do, why wouldn’t we do it?”
  • “It will make us look good too, so count me in”
  • “Our customers will love it as it makes giving really easy for them”
My view is that Sea-Changers’ vision of raising money has huge potential. I firmly believe that those people who enjoy the sea would be prepared to make small contributions to say thank you for the enjoyment it gives them. And I also believe that retailers involved in our ‘opt out’ approach benefit from being seen as giving something back and being socially and environmentally responsible.They become Sea-Changers...something to be proud of.

Over the coming months I will keep you updated as to how Sea-Changers develops. In the meantime we would love your help:
  • If you know of any retailers who may be interested in working with us, get in touch and tell us about them. We are on the lookout for holiday companies, ferry and cruise companies, retailers who sell to surfers, divers, sailors, marinas, boat operators and so.
  • Spread the word about Sea-Changers - it is vital that we work to raise our profile. You can follow us on Facebook, or Twitter, or register for our newsletter.
  • Volunteer for us – there is masses to do…and never enough time in the day. Your support and skills would be appreciated.
  • DonateSea-Changers is run purely on donations at the moment, although we are looking for funding to support the project. If you would like to make a donation, visit our website at: www.sea-changers.org.uk