PLYMOUTH City Council is starting work on plans to make Plymouth Sound the UK’s first National Marine Park, after securing national funding.
Councillor Sue Dann, Cabinet Member for Environment and Street Scene made the announcement at the council’s cabinet meeting, following the news that the Marine Management Organisation has agreed to provide £75,000 towards the first phase of the project.
The council have said they will:
- Officially lead the project to develop and designate the National Marine Park, working with local partners and stakeholders.
- Start a programme of engagement with the local community groups, businesses and stakeholders to help shape the marine park
- Work with Government departments to ensure the National Marine Park has national recognition
- Continue to seek external funding for the project
Councillor Dann said: “We are very pleased to be able to take the lead on this important project.
“The UK has 17,820 kilometres of coastline but currently no marine parks. Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City, is ideally placed to be the UK’s first National Marine Park.
“We have a rich maritime heritage, a successful and productive fishing industry, world renowned marine science and engineering, a marine city deal and marine enterprise zone, the largest Naval base in Western Europe, and a National Marine Aquarium.
“We will be talking to the community from 15 January to 26 February, to get people’s views on the proposals, and how we can deliver the maximum benefits for people, wildlife and business.
The main aims of a National Marine Park are to:
- Encourage the community to understand, enjoy, value and care for the marine and coastal environment
- Strengthen existing marine conservation objectives and involve the local community in this
- Establish a world leading demonstration centre for a range of marine technologies including marine autonomous systems
- Ensure those from disadvantaged backgrounds are able to enjoy the same opportunities to access the marine environment as others
- Improve and enhance sustainable tourism, commercial fishing, recreation, shipping and marine services
- Improve community health and wellbeing by increasing access for recreation
The Council has been working closely with a range of national and local partners including University of Plymouth, the National Marine Aquarium, and the Blue Marine Foundation, to move the plans for a National Marine Park forward.
From now until February 26 people can have your say on the plans to make Plymouth the UK’s first National Marine Park at https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/plymouthsoundnationalmarinepark