Our Motion for the Ocean is making waves for Ocean recovery in the UK as the 25th council declares support of the campaign!

The Motion for the Ocean campaign has been appealing to councils across the UK to recognise the importance of the Ocean. Worthing Council has become the 25th council committed to improving the health of our Ocean, joining 24 other councils from across England and Wales.  

The model Motion for the Ocean was developed to encourage all councils to declare an urgent need for Ocean recovery, and to help them embed Ocean thinking into their strategic planning and decision-making processes. It is designed to be adapted, so it can meet the unique needs of the communities that each council represents. Whether a council is coastal, or inland, each has the power to make a significant impact.  

25 Councils across the UK have passed the Motion for the Ocean since it was passed by Plymouth City Council in 2021. This is a landmark achievement, demonstrating that individuals can take actions to transform our relationship with the marine environment. As the campaign gathers steam I hope everyone will consider writing to their local councillors and asking them to bring forward an Ocean Recovery Declaration, working towards a future where every Council pledges their support for our seas.

Pamela Buchan, Marine Social Scientist
plymouth sound

The Motion is gathering attention overseas and is soon to be discussed at the 2024 UN Ocean Decade Conference in April at the ‘Cities with the Ocean’ event, that seeks to connect various initiatives around the world to promote a strong and sustainable connection between cities and the Ocean. The Motion for the Ocean provides a great way to help councils across the UK and beyond start to make those important connections. 

Our work at the Ocean Conservation Trust is centred around people and positive action. We are absolutely delighted that so many communities are getting behind the Motion for the Ocean campaign and urging their councillors to recognise the importance of a healthy Ocean, for people and the planet. It will be incredible to have the Motion for the Ocean raised on such a high platform as the UN Ocean Decade Conference, and we hope it will encourage international adoption of the Motion.” 

Nicola Bridge, Head of Ocean Advocacy and Engagement, at the Ocean Conservation Trust

The model Motion for the Ocean is based on scientific research that shows connecting emotionally with the Ocean, and feeling dependent upon it for your health and wellbeing are important factors in motivating people to take action to protect the Ocean. By connecting to the Ocean in sustainable ways, communities can benefit from the positive things the Ocean has to offer, whilst also allowing it to recover. Ocean recovery is vitally important to help in the fight against the climate emergency.  

“A healthy Ocean is essential for our health, wellbeing and prosperity, but the evidence is clear that our Ocean is in crisis. Local authorities cannot solve the Ocean crisis alone, but they can and must play their part. I am thrilled to see 25 Councils now taking meaningful Ocean action as a result of our Motion for the Ocean and look forward to many more to come. The tide is turning!” 

Emily Cunningham, Ocean Conservation Expert and Co-Founder of the Motion for the Ocean

Our ambition is for all councils to adopt their own version of the model motion!

The model motion was written by marine social scientist Dr Pamela Buchan; Ocean conservation expert and former Lead Officer of the Local Government Association (LGA) Coastal Special Interest Group, Emily Cunningham; and Head of Ocean Advocacy and Engagement at the Ocean Conservation Trust, Nicola Bridge.