New study from the Marine Conservation Society finds benefits of being beside the sea are felt even when we’re far away
Even though our time outdoors and by the coast may be limited at the moment, research from the UK’s leading marine charity, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has shown that the coast can benefit us all, even when we’re far from it.
The charity’s study found over 70% of people agreed with the statement “I feel the benefit of time spent by the coast and sea even when I am away from it”. Most respondents agreed that the coast and sea’s effects are felt long after being beside it, an uplifting thought during these times of lockdown.
The MCS Our Blue Heart project sought to get to the very heart of what the sea really means to people in the UK. The research and resulting film reveal that, for many of us, the coast and sea play a unique and irreplaceable role in many areas of our lives. The data suggests a complex web of values and feelings, of the sea providing a sense of freedom, of escape, of connection to nature, accomplishment, fun, inspiration, creativity and spirituality.
Sue Ranger, Conservation Engagement and Education Manager said: “Throughout the myriad ways in which the coast and sea promote a sense of wellbeing, it is clear that the ocean is a uniting force which improves our sense of self and connection to others and the environment. This incredible resource deserves our respect and admiration.
“There has never been a more critical time for people, globally, to do what they can for our Blue Heart. From the research we have conducted to inform Our Blue Heart it is clear that supporting and protecting our ocean is crucial, not just to supporting the rich marine ecosystems below water, but also to safeguard the future wellbeing of those who live beside it.”
Interestingly, many respondents also agreed that the health of the sea itself played a part in their happiness. Of those who had visited the coast in the last year, 75% said they feel better just knowing that the coast and sea and all the plants and animals living there are thriving. This intrinsic link between the health of the ocean and our own happiness highlights how important it is for us to protect and safeguard the marine environment, even during these trying times.
Positive actions for the ocean you can take from home:
- Sign our petition to support bringing an end to microfibre pollution
- Care for your clothes and the environment with top tips from MCS
- Teach your children about the ocean, and maybe learn something yourself with MCS webinars
- Cut down on plastic and sign up for this year’s Plastic Challenge
Please find more information about the Marine Conservation Society’s Our Blue Heart project here.