Rock pool (c) Wendy Carter
Rock-pooling. Catching sight of leaping dolphins or basking seals. Snorkelling. Diving. What do Living Seas mean to you?
Visits to the coast play an important part for many of us living in land-locked Worcestershire. Yet how much do we actually think about our actions at home can affect our holidays by the sea?
Aren't seas great!
It may surprise you to know that the UK is responsible for looking after an area of sea that's three times the size of our land area. Our seas are home to more than 44,000 plants and ainmals from tiny corals to basking sharks. Alongside rugged reefs, submerged cliffs and towering sandbanks are meadows of seagrass and forests of kelp.
Our seas do a great job of supporting us too - they absorb 'greenhouse' gases, release oxygen and regulate our climate. They also provide lots of opportunities for play and recreation! But they're in need of some tender loving care. From fishing to gravel extraction to oil and gas, we've been exploiting their resources for centuries. More recently we've taken too much and destroyed the fragile habitats that exist beneath the surface.
The Wildlife Trusts are campaigning nationally for the creation of Marine Protected Areas - refuges where habitats and wildlife can be safeguarded. To find out more about how you can help and to sign our Petition Fish visit the Living Seas pages of the national website.
You can make a difference
You may not think it but litter and pollution in Worcestershire can end up on beaches miles from here. Beach litter is at its highest ever levels and we can all do something to help reduce this problem.
Did you know that turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish - the bags block their stomachs and lead to starvation? Did you know that 90% of fulmars found dead around the North Sea have some form of plastic in their stomachs? Did you know plastic never biodegrades and tiny particles of plastic are now found inside filter feeding animals?
Simple things such as re-using carrier bags and safely discarding your rubbish can really make a difference Carefully dispose of rubbish and think about what you're flushing down the toilet - some of it will end up on beaches.
We've all got the power to choose what we buy. Next time you're buying fish, think about whether it's from a well managed, sustainable source. Inappropriate and over-fishing are severely depleting many fish stocks around the world. Check out the Marine Conservation Society's Good Fish Guide and Marine Stewardship Council for more information to help you better choose your fish.
Try to buy environmentally friendly detergents and avoid buying toxic chemicals for your home and garden.
You can do even more
Visit our national Marine Conservation Zones page to discover what you can do to help!