Inspiring young people to make connections with the National Marine Park
Last month we were joined by 71 enthusiastic 16-25 year olds and budding Ocean Conservationists for our fully funded three-day experience to learn more about the National Marine Park. The adventure started at our centre of Ocean excellence, the National Marine Aquarium, right on the doorstep of Plymouth Sound. The Ocean Discovery Ranger team took them on an exciting tour of the entire Aquarium to explore the amazing wildlife that can be found, from the National Marine Park in Plymouth all the way to the breath-taking corals of the Great Barrier Reef. Along the way they were able to learn how to take care of our wonderful animals, and all the different careers available in Ocean conservation.
“I so enjoyed looking around and experiencing all these fabulous marine places, not to mention the completely fabulous National Marine Aquarium, which was awesome!”– 20 year old participant
They then helped to clean up Plymouth’s Waterfront by joining a Preventing Plastic Pollution litter pick, doing their bit to help the Ocean whilst taking part in an international citizen science project.
The adventure continued as we set sail on the waves of the National Marine Park to look out for animals in the sea and the sky. The group visited the Jewel of Plymouth Sound, Drake’s Island and were able to learn about the history of the island, explore the tunnels, see the wildlife and view the National Marine Park from a whole new perspective. As well as spending an enjoyable afternoon on the beach rock pooling with our qualified marine biologists.
During the experience, they got the chance to visit Plymouth Fisheries to learn more about how seafood can be caught sustainably, and then used the knowledge to create their very own seafood meal, using seafood from Sole of Discretion. They were also able to visit the Marine Biological Association where researchers gave a tour of the laboratories, showcasing the cutting edge research that is happening right here in Plymouth.
“It was an amazing opportunity and I am very grateful that I got to take part and learn from so many knowledgeable people. There wasn’t a single part of the programme that I didn’t enjoy.”– 16 year old participant
We are delighted to be able to offer those who took park in this experience the opportunity to become Marine Park Ambassadors, and take part in further training. They will be joining us again in the near future for full communication and engagement training, focusing on self-confidence and self-esteem development, as well as a two-day course focusing on the skills and knowledge required to operate our VR technology with public and schools audiences.