SHOREHAM Beach’s connection to the global ocean was explained at a four-day European conference, held at Plymouth University.
The Ocean Awareness Conference, organised by the European Marine Science Educators Association and the National Marine Biological Association, was attended by marine educators and scientists from 15 different countries.
Stephen Savage, education co-ordinator for Shoreham Beach Local Nature Reserve, was part of a select group of 20 educators and scientists, looking at how ocean principles can be used to create a more ocean-aware society, from children to adults.
He explained: “Several years ago, a bunch of scientists and educators in the USA got together to create a set of ocean principles to include everything people should know about the oceans.
“The main aim of this conference was to examine these principles to see if they would be relevant to the UK and Europe and create a mechanism to bring these principle into schools and also to the general public.”
Nature reserves, such as the one at Shoreham, will play a valuable role in engaging the public and schools with their local marine environmental and the global ocean system.
Mr Savage added: “As part of our education programme at the nature reserve, we run a project that looks at how Shoreham Beach is connected to the global ocean and how global issues such as climate change, ocean acidification and marine debris may damage our beach (and the planet as a whole).
“I was invited to participate in this conference discussion as this project has global links and reflects many of the concepts included in the ocean principles which is already sharing this knowledge with school and also the public through events such as Adur World Oceans Day.”
The principles include how oceans regulate the climate, how new medicines are being discovered in the oceans and how human activities are damaging the ocean.