The Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) have an action-packed year ahead of them, which kick-started last month as they welcomed a new Executive Director, Áine Purcell-Milton, who takes over from Andrew Binnie.
Áine is a diver, kite surfer and open water swimmer with an MSc is Marine Systems Management from St Andrews University and the Scottish Association for Marine Science. Joining COAST from the An Taisce Environmental Education Unit in Dublin, Áine is experienced in liaising with communities, local authorities, NGOs and corporations to deliver positive outcomes for the marine environment, and brings a wealth of skills to COAST.
On joining COAST, Áine says: “It is an immense honour to be appointed as the new Executive Director of COAST, especially at such an exciting time of development and expansion for the organisation. I am deeply committed to supporting the highly skilled and passionate team at COAST and look forward to continuing the excellent work already completed.”
Andrew, who has been back as COAST’s Director during the pandemic, says: “I have been lucky to work with COAST as we have grown from committed locals to Internationally recognised pioneers in community marine conservation. Over the last couple of years we have reworked our strategy based on a wide community survey and identified the acquisition of a boat as vital for COAST and Arran to fully benefit from the Marine Protected Area. This is an exciting time, and I have every confidence that as COAST enters this new phase, Áine will guide the experienced staff team to new heights with her varied marine and community experience and people skills. I won’t be disappearing though; I am not leaving Arran and I’ll be around over the next few months to ensure the boat is delivered on schedule and to ensure that Áine has a sounding board as she settles in.”
In her first couple of weeks, Áine will be shadowing Andrew, meeting with the staff team, internal and external colleagues, and getting to know the ropes of all our key work streams. COAST look forward to working collectively to realise the full potential of a reviving marine ecosystem around Arran that benefits everyone.