- Posted by: Canterbury Labour
- Category: Education
Canterbury City Council voted unanimously this week to ask cabinet to commission and consider the formation of a new marine ecology plan for the district – identifying ways in which the council can help promote ocean recovery and support of blue economy.
In endorsing the motion, Canterbury joined an elite group of fifteen coastal councils who have backed the so called ‘Motion for the Ocean’ developed by the Local Government Institute and calling on the national government to reduce synthetic plastics in our seas and appoint a dedicated minister for Coastal Affairs.
Introducing the motion, Cllr Tom Mellish from Herne Bay spoke of the role the sea plays in “literally and metaphorically putting food on the table for hundreds of families in our district” and the importance of scheme to “protect our environment and grow our economy”.
Listing the sort of things that could be included in such a plan Cllr Cornell, Cabinet member for Coastal Communities noted how an “environment first approach” could change the way we profile beaches to protect seawater lagoons in Long Rock, educate the public on wildlife through our lifeguard services, dredge Whitstable Harbour and reduce the use of synthetic plastics among water users.
“This motion is a first step” said Cllr Cornell, “but an important one. It, for the first time, commits the council to actively pursuing a planning approach which is concerned with reduce sewage overflows and provides a vehicle for discussing how the council should be more actively supporting citizen science projects recording water quality and marine eduction initiatives with local schools”.
The marine ecology plan will be taken forward by a new Seawater Bathing group which will include representatives from all the political parties, the Environment Agency and Southern Water.