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British beaches and wildlife under threat from tide of litter

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As more visitors flock to the English coastline, the Marine Conservation Society and coastal councils call on British public to play their part.

Since the lifting of lockdown restrictions, local authorities from around England’s coast are reporting unprecedented levels of litter. The Local Government Association Special Interest Group on Coastal Issues, alongside the Marine Conservation Society, is calling on the public to help protect the UK’s coastline this summer.

The LGA Coastal SIG has received numerous reports of high levels of discarded PPE such as single-use masks and plastic gloves along British beaches and in the water. Additionally, unprecedented levels of illegal “wild” camping have caused issues with human waste and toilet paper/wipes on our coast, as well as incidents of fire damage and injury from camp fires and BBQs.

This increase in single-use litter and pollution not only poses a threat to amazing British wildlife, but also blights the beautiful English coastline for other visitors and locals. In addition to well-publicised single-use litter like plastic bags, local authorities are reporting an increase in PPE related litter, with plastic gloves and masks adding to beach pollution. Much like other single-use litter, PPE poses a threat to marine life which can be entangled in it, or ingest it.

Local authorities are working hard to tackle this issue by increasing the number of bins and litter patrols on British beaches, and increasing toilet provisions in line with social distancing. However, every person visiting England’s outdoor spaces this summer can help.

Councillor Ernest Gibson, Chairman of the Local Government Association Special Interest Group on Coastal Issues: “Local authorities are working extra hard in these difficult circumstances by providing more bins and litter patrols, but people must start taking responsibility for their own litter. No one wants their children to be swimming in a sea full of used masks or burning their little feet on a discarded BBQ – put your litter in a bin or, if the bin is full, take it home with you.

For those who want to do more, the Marine Conservation Society’s annual Great British Beach Clean, running from 18th – 25th September, needs more organisers than ever to adopt a 100 metre stretch of beach to clean and carry out a litter survey.

Lizzie Prior, Beachwatch Officer at the Marine Conservation Society: “Every year, the Great British Beach Clean is a fantastic opportunity for us to get a sense of what litter is blighting the coastline, thanks to our litter survey. Data from the surveys have helped us push for policy change including the 5p plastic carrier bag charge. Taking part in this year’s events as an organiser is a fantastic way to protect your local beach, support your local community and help gather important data for our future policy work.”

To become a Beachwatch Organiser please visit the website here.

Find information on the Source to Sea Litter Quest here.

For more information or to contact the Marine Conservation Society please visit www.mcsuk.org

For more information on the LGA Special Interest Group on Coastal Issues, please visit www.lgacoastalsig.com

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

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Nauticam announce NA-A7C Housing for Sony a7C Camera

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Sony’s latest full frame mirrorless camera, the a7C offers the underwater image maker one of the most compact and travel friendly full frame systems available on the market today.  The a7C features Sony’s latest stellar autofocus and a much improved battery life thanks to its use of the larger Z series battery. The BIONZ X processor delivers superb low-light performance and faster image processing. For video shooters, the a7C features internal UHD 4K capture in the wide-dynamic range HLG image profile at up to 30p.

Nauticam has housed more mirrorless cameras, and more Sony E Mount cameras than any other housing manufacturer. This experience results in the most evolved housing line with broadest range of accessories available today.

Pioneering optical accessories elevate performance to a new level. Magnifying viewfinders, the sharpest super macro accessory lenses ever made, and now the highest quality water contact wide angle lenses (the WWL-1B and WACP-1) combine with the NA-A7C housing to form a complete imaging system.

Nauticam is known for ergonomics, and an unmatched experience. Key controls are placed at the photographer’s fingertips. The housing and accessories are light weight, and easy to assemble. The camera drops in without any control presetting, and lens port changes are effortless.

NA-A7C features an integrated handle system. This ergonomic style provides exceptional control access, even with thick gloves, with ideal placement of the shutter release and a thumb-lever to actuate the AF-ON button from the right handle.

Nauticam build quality is well known by underwater photographers around the globe. The housing is machined from a solid block of aluminum, then hard anodized making it impervious to salt water corrosion. Marine grade stainless and plastic parts complete the housing, and it is backed by a two year warranty against manufacturing defects.

For more information in the UK visit the Nauticam website by clicking here.

For more information in the USA visit the Nauticam website by clicking here.

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Blogs

BLUE EARTH – Future Frogmen Podcast Series – The Next Generation of Ocean Stewards: Lauren Brideau

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A series of conservation educational podcasts from Future Frogmen, introduced by Jeff Goodman.

The Next Generation of Ocean Stewards: Lauren Brideau

We have a new host, Dr. Colleen Bielitz, and today we’ll be interviewing a recent college graduate as part of our once-a-month episode that focuses on students: the next generation of conservationists, researchers, and activists.

What are the next generation of ocean stewards doing to protect our Blue Earth? Join us as we find out by speaking to Lauren Brideau, a recent graduate of Southern Connecticut State University. Lauren started as an undeclared major but soon found her calling, now she is part of a research team conserving life below water.  She is a prime example that if you want to defend our oceans and the creatures that depend on the sea to survive, now is the time to become part of the solution.


Richard E Hyman Bio

Richard is the Chairman and President of Future Frogmen.

Born from mentoring and love of the ocean, Richard is developing an impactful non-profit organization. His memoir, FROGMEN, details expeditions aboard Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s famed ship Calypso.

Future Frogmen, Inc. is a nonprofit organization and public charity that works to improve ocean health by deepening the connection between people and nature. They foster ocean ambassadors and future leaders to protect the ocean by accomplishing five objectives.


You can find more episodes and information at www.futurefrogmen.org and on most social platforms @futurefrogmen.

 

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