The Marine and Coastal Access Bill has received Royal Assent today which means a green light for Marine Conservation Zones.
In the south-east, Marine Conservation Zones will be identified and recommended with the full input of all sea users, through the Balanced Seas project.
Marine Conservation Zones will protect nationally important marine wildlife, habitats, geology and geomorphology.
Balanced Seas waters are home to a host of important wildlife and habitats from unique underwater chalk cliff communities, to productive sand banks. The challenge is to protect these and balance important economic and recreational activities.
The Balanced Seas project is hosted by the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), at the University of Kent.
Professor Douglas MacMillan of DICE, says, “This is a momentous day for the conservation of our marine resources. The decision to create marine conservation zones is probably one of the most important ever taken by the government and will help ensure that our marine resources will be protected for future generations.”
The Balanced Seas project team is organising meetings during the last week of November in Hampshire, Sussex, Essex, Kent and the Isle of Wight to discuss how sea users can best become involved. Everyone has a voice and working with all those with an interest in the project area is essential for success.
Sue Wells, Balanced Seas Project Manager says, “This is an exciting opportunity to enhance and protect the marine environment in the south-east. The Balanced Seas project team will set up, and support, a Regional Stakeholder Group. The group will be responsible for identifying and recommending the Marine Conservation Zones in order to protect marine wildlife and landscapes in the south-east.”
If you would like to attend a county meeting please email firstname.lastname@example.org and put your county in the subject line or call the team on 01227 827839.
For further information please visit www.balancedseas.org, email email@example.com or call 01227 827839.