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  • Writer's pictureMary Smith

Marine Conservation in Thanet

Please adhere to the national Covid-19 guidance, which you can read here. This week saw World Oceans Day being celebrated globally - a movement describing itself as "Passionate about the Ocean. "Driven by 'Together We Can.' Powered by people worldwide."  We at Broadstairs Apartments feel priviledged to live and work by the sea and recognise it as one of the biggest draws to our region. Visitors and residents alike are attracted to the Isle of Thanet by its 16 sandy beaches and bays. We may not have desert-island coral reefs and tropical fish, but our precious coast has a thriving seascape teeming with aquatic life that relies on marine conservation.

Biodiversity in our seas is under threat. © Paul Naylor/Kent Wildlife Trust

With the ongoing threats of climate change and global sea pollution, it's common knowledge that marine conservation is more important than ever. Did you know that Thanet has its very own Marine Conservation Zone? One of 91 official zones around England, it protects an inshore area of 64km square, stretching around the coast from Herne Bay to Ramsgate. Of particular note is the chalk sea bed, being the longest continuous stretch of coastal chalk in the UK.

© Kent Country Parks

Relying on sought-after stakeholder funding and a dedicated team of volunteers, the Thanet Coastal Project works all year round with the local community to raise awareness about protecting marine and bird life. Set up in 2001, this crucial project implements the actions required of the Marine Conservation Zone alongside organising research, educational events and acting as an information hub. 

Seal numbers on the East Kent coast have been increasing

You'd find it hard not to notice some of the marine wildlife here, especially the seagulls! Crabs, barnacles and mussels are the usual creatures we come across along our beaches. Let's not forget the various seaweeds, so important for biodiversity and the health of the seas. If you're lucky you may spot a seal, as their numbers have been increasing in recent years due to conservation efforts. Marine flora and fauna in Kent coastal waters also include sea grasses (often endangered), algae, sea cabbage and phytoplanktons. All manner of molluscs and crustaceans frequent our part of the world too, along with sea anemones, starfish, jellyfish and of course the many fish species. 

© Rich Tervet via Unsplash

When you next have the pleasure of sitting on one of Thanet's wonderful beaches looking out to sea, enjoy it safe in the knowledge that it is everyones' responsibility to look after it. We are all custodians of this natural world.  Leave nothing on the beach but footprints is the slogan on peoples' lips at the moment and we couldn't have put it better ourselves. Whether you are sunbathing, swimming, picnicking or rockpooling, remember we do it all alongside important marine and coastal wildlife habitats that were there long before us humans came along!

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