Local community marine conservation group shortlisted for Nature Champion of the Decade
The Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST), has been named as one of the nominees for Nature Champions of the Decade at RSPB Scotland’s 10th anniversary of Nature of Scotland Awards.
Over the last 25 years, COAST has created a dynamic community-based path to restoring marine biodiversity. Key achievements include establishing the UK’s first community-led No Take Zone and the 280 km2 South Arran Marine Protected Area (MPA). Research conducted in collaboration with COAST has shown that there has been a dramatic increase (approx. 80%) in marine life abundance in the seas around Arran. This success has led to Arran and Scotland being regarded as international leaders in community-led marine conservation, including co-founder Howard Wood winning the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2015. Since then, COAST has continued to sare the word and advoacate for coastal community voices, and have opened the UK’s first community-based MPA Discovery Centre to help promote this cause further.
Jenny Crockett, COAST’s Outreach and Communications Manger says: “We are truly humbled to be shortlisted as Nature Champions of the Decade. COAST and the local community have worked tirelessly over the last 25 years to prove to others that local communities can demand and effect change to protect their environment – this hard-work is regonised in receipt of this incredible nomination. We are up against some other fantastic projects, including some of who we work with in the marine world; every vote really does count so please, take 2 minutes to support community marine conservation.”
The awards, co-sponsored by NatureScot, mark a decade of celebrating Scotland’s nature champions. They will recognise the individuals and organisations making a difference in their local communities, businesses and schools to support Scotland’s wildlife and special places. 52 initiatives from across Scotland have been shortlisted across nine categories, and winners will be announced at a virtual ceremony on 17 November. This year will also see a special 10th anniversary accolade for Nature Champions of the Decade, which will be decided by a public vote from a selection of previous winners from the last 10 years.
Anne McCall, Director of RSPB Scotland said: “The last 18 months have reignited many people’s love for nature, highlighting its importance to all aspects of our lives – be it our health, the economy, or wellbeing.
“This is reflected in the exceptionally high standard of entries for our 10th anniversary Nature of Scotland Awards, and I would urge everyone to vote for their Nature Champions of the Decade!”
You can vote for COAST by visiting the RSPB Nature of Scotland Awards website here before the vote closes on 3rd October.
About the RSPB Nature of Scotland Awards and Nature Champions of the Decade trophy
The Nature of Scotland Awards recognises excellence and innovation in nature conservation. All our previous winners have done exceptional work to support Scotland’s species and habitats, the cumulative efforts they have made for nature have been tremendous. To mark our 10th anniversary the judging panel have selected 10 outstanding former winning projects from across Scotland – it’s up to the public which one will win our Nature Champions of the Decade trophy.
Featured image credit: COAST