Call for Action on World Ocean Day
Businesses across South Tyneside are being asked to throw their weight behind the Council's 'Motion for the Ocean' this summer and help 'protect our ocean'.
The Motion recognises the importance of the ocean in the fight against climate change and the role that local, and national government, can play in helping to protect it.
The call coincides with today's (8 June) World Ocean Day- a global campaign urging people everywhere to unite, celebrate and take action for our shared blue planet.
Local businesses are urged to get involved where they can, such as:
- Ending the use of balloons for any promotion and don't get involved in any balloon releases.
- Reducing the use of single use items such as plastic knives and forks.
- Rewarding customers, such as providing them with an incentive if they bring their own reusable containers or cutlery.
- Picking up litter in and around their business.
- Encouraging or supporting local community activities such as litter picks.
- Reducing their carbon footprint.
- Ensuring that the correct items go down the drain - no cooking fat, wet wipes, or other items.
- Selling only sustainable seafood, ideally caught locally and in season.
Councillor Ernest Gibson, Lead Member for Transport and Area Management and Chairman of the Local Government Association's (LGA) Coastal Special Interest Group (SIG) said: "As we enter the summer season there is an opportunity for residents and businesses to make small but significant steps to support our motion for the ocean and help protect our ocean.
"Rising water temperatures and sea levels, changes in ocean chemistry and more frequent extreme weather impacts can affect local seafood and tourism industries while accelerating coastal erosion and the risk to infrastructure and properties.
"We know that businesses are under significant pressures as they come out of the pandemic. We aren't expecting an overhaul of their practices in one go but want to work with businesses so that they can make small but significant changes that will reap benefits for the ocean moving forward.
"Collectively we can make a huge difference to help protect our marine environment and recognise the full range of benefits that a healthy ocean can bring."
The campaign asks everyone to also:
- Stop releasing balloons and sky lanterns to mark an occasion or in memory of a loved one which can be harmful to animals, wildlife, and the ocean. Use bubbles or a memorial instead;
- Recycle as much as possible;
- Don't light fires on beaches or in the parks - only have BBQs where signs say it is allowed.
An extension of the successful #LoveSouthTyneside campaign, 'Protect our ocean' draws on South Tyneside's amazing community spirit, encouraging residents and businesses to join or set up organised beach or litter picks in their area, put litter in the bins and be active in the community.
The Council also distributed 100 new black bins as part of a Borough-wide bin replacement programme for damaged bins, with larger waste bins provided where needed - in areas of high footfall.
A further 25 recycling bins are strategically placed along the seafront, encouraging residents and visitors to recycle their empty cans, glass, and plastic bottles while out and about - supporting the principles of the 'protect our ocean' campaign.
The Motion for the Ocean saw the authority declare an urgent need for ocean recovery at its meeting of Borough Council earlier this year. It commits the Council to consider ocean recovery in its decision and policy making, to help improve the way marine environments are used and managed, to rally support for local people to act as marine citizens and to lobby Central Government for change at national level.
South Tyneside Council has also been leading the way for marine conservation regionally though projects such as SeaScapes and Stronger Shores, and nationally in its role as lead authority of the LGA Coastal SIG.
It was one of the first local authorities in England, and the first in the region, to declare an urgent need for ocean recovery, to pledge to do all it can as a local authority.
The work also supports the Council's priority of investing in the natural and built environment.
Find out more about ocean protection in South Tyneside at South Tyneside Council: What you can do.
Business can register an interest at loveST@southtyneside.gov.uk
More details of World Ocean Day are available at www.worldoceanday.org