Our Coast and Seas

In January 2021 the Marine Area Statement hosted a 2-day online event. ‘Our Coast and Seas’ brought together partners with an interest in Welsh coasts and seas, to identify what we can do together to make our seas more diverse, resilient and sustainable.

It provided a platform for collaboration, networking and information-sharing at a local and regional scale, with the aim of exploring and developing ideas for practical projects, which may be taken forward to address the priorities and opportunities for Welsh coasts and seas.

The event hosted 29 presenters across 15 sessions, covering topics such as water quality, coastal climate adaptation and collaborative working.

The sessions were:

Making the most of our Coasts and Seas: setting the scene

  • An overview of some of the priorities and opportunities for the Welsh marine and coastal environment, including what is set out in the marine area statement and more recent themes identified through the green recovery task force
  • NRW and Wales Marine Action and Advisory Group

Marine and Coastal Projects in Wales: What’s going on?

  • Showcasing local projects
  • Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum, Geo Smart Decisions, Aberystwyth University, Swansea University, Plantlife

Communities, Covid, Recreation & Well-being

  • Supporting local marine and coastal needs in Wales. Community level ideas and actions around opportunities for a more joined up and sustainable approach.
  • Cardiff University, National Trust, Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum

Restoration & Biodiversity

  • Discussing action around Wales that supports restoration and biodiversity, highlighting opportunities for working together at all scales.
  • Project Seagrass, Swansea University, Bangor University
  • Funding opportunities in Wales – a proactive approach
  • Examples of funding opportunities in Wales, and how we can make the most of them to deliver marine and coastal projects.
  • WWF, Sea Changers, People’s Postcode Lottery

Marine and Coastal Projects in Wales: ideas, opportunities and upcoming challenges

  • New, collaborative or partnership working to overcome known challenges
  • NRW, Marine Energy Wales

Improving marine water quality

  • Covering issues and opportunities around coastal and marine water quality, including citizen science, marine litter and the public utility industry.
  • Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, Milford Haven Port Authority, Sea Trust

Coastal Climate adaptation

  • How climate change is impacting or may impact ecosystems, structures and communities. How we can adapt or mitigate for change, and raising awareness through coastal groups and communities.
  • Gwynedd Council, Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum, Wales Coastal Monitoring Centre

Collaborative working

  • Examples of collaborative working, with lessons learnt and opportunities to work together better
  • Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum, Milford Haven Port Authority, North Wales Wildlife Trust

Key areas of discussion were around:

  • Mapping and improving access to current projects, funding and groups
  • Improved access to and join up of existing data, evidence and information
  • Scaling up marine and coastal restoration work
  • A joined-up approach to managing water quality
  • Greater connection between coastal communities and their local shore
  • Managing recreational pressures
  • Tackling coastal squeeze
  • Sourcing longer term funding for delivering projects

The event was recorded and presentations and panel discussions can be shared with you, please email the marine team if there are specific sessions you would like to watch.

300 delegates registered for the Our Coast and Seas event, unsurprisingly the majority of attendees were from Wales but we also had participants across the rest of the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

There were 1180 session views across the two days, amounting to a total of 48,900 minutes!

Delegates were asked to choose the region of Wales they were most interested in, the most popular being the North West and South West.

Attendees had the option of asking questions throughout the event. Over 150 questions were asked and answered over the two days, with the word cloud below showing the most popular words, a lot of positive discussion included community, recovery, impact and engagement.

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