With human activity at an all-time low during the global lockdown, nature has had an unprecedented opportunity to recover. Major cities have seen up to 60% reductions in air pollution. Famously dirty rivers have been ‘cleaned up’. Animals are returning to areas in which they’ve not been seen for hundreds of years.
There’s now a growing movement of environmentalists that want to ensure these benefits remain for the long-term — particularly as the world struggles to fulfil its climate obligations under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
One such group is Surfers Against Sewage, a popular marine conservation charity in the UK. Set up in 1990 to tackle chronic sewage pollution, the charity’s remit broadened after a string of legislative successes to include global ocean advocacy and action against plastic waste.
The group, which counts 300,000 followers across its social media channels, has just launched a survey to find out how the British public feel about the ocean, and how they can help protect and restore it.
“We are all longing to get back to the beach, dive into the sea, ride some waves and return to the frontline of the campaign to protect the ocean,” the organisation writes on its website. “The current crisis has been a powerful reminder to many of us of the things that we value most and what we want to see for the new world, where #GenerationSea can rise again.”
✊? Can you spare a few minutes to save the Ocean? As we recover from the current crisis, we need to shout even louder for Ocean protection & restoration. Make your voice heard & shape years of Ocean activism. Fill in the 2020 #GenerationSea Survey ? https://t.co/spLJTs35ji pic.twitter.com/zaG6ulbqFf
— Surfers Against Sewage (@sascampaigns) May 1, 2020
The ‘Generation Sea Blueprint’ survey asks for information about the public’s interest in the natural environment, and how this has changed since lockdown. There are specific questions about ideal action to protect the oceans, and also more general questions about an approach to driving, flying, food waste, and recycling.
“As the leaders in Ocean Activism, it’s imperative that we come out of this crisis ready and prepared to accelerate single-use plastic bans, challenge water companies, drive forward marine protection and demand climate action,” the survey concludes.
The survey and #GenerationSea campaign comes a week after Hugo Tagholm, Chief Executive of Surfers Against Sewage, launched a separate ‘digital beach clean’ campaign to “challenge the manufacturers of plastic pollution on our beaches, riversides and streets.
“The campaign is encouraging ocean activists to get involved nationwide to document branded plastic pollution and share it on social media, tagging the manufacturers to encourage more action to solve the plastic pollution crisis,” he wrote on LinkedIn.
More information about the Surfers Against Sewage initiatives can be found on the organisation’s website.
The Ocean Cleanup