Blackpool set to join ocean protection campaign

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Blackpool is set to join other coastal areas around the country in campaigning to protect the world’s oceans from further damage.

Moves could include encouraging ‘marine citizenship’, especially among school children in the town by teaching them about the importance of ocean conservation.

There would also be support for the fishing industry, and the council would join other local authorities in calling on the government to take action including the appointment of a dedicated minister for coastal communities.

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Preventing plastic pollution into the sea would also be part of the campaign.

Blackpool Council is set to join a campaign to protect our oceansBlackpool Council is set to join a campaign to protect our oceans
Blackpool Council is set to join a campaign to protect our oceans

The council’s tourism, economy and communities scrutiny committee is being asked to agree that a motion is put to full council to “declare an urgent need for ocean recovery.”

Dubbed a Motion for the Ocean it has been developed “to help local authorities play their part in realising a clean, healthy and productiveocean and all of the direct economic, health and wellbeing benefits it will bring”, according to a report to the committee.

If Blackpool agrees to the motion, it will be joining other councils including Plymouth, Falmouth, South Tyneside, North Norfolk, North Devon and Monmouthshire in taking steps to protect coastal waters.

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The campaign also includes councils putting pressure on the government to strengthen regulations around single-use plastics.

A further aim is to call on ministers to set standards for microfibre-catching filters to ensure all new washing machines are fitted with a filter that captures a high percentage of microfibres produced in the wash cycle.

The report adds: “Our ocean and climate are in a state of emergency, the communities we serve are vulnerable to these emergencies, and local government has an essential and urgent part to play in tackling these interconnected crises.

“As a local authority we have already declared a climate emergency. The ocean is included in our climate action plans, but needs its own working group to ensure we address specific issues and protect our ocean.”

The council already works with the Turing Tides Partnership across the Fylde Coast and LovemyBeach to maintain the quality of bathing waters and prevent the risk of pollution.