My name is Summer, and I work as a Host at the National Marine Aquarium – the Ocean Conservation Trust’s centre of Ocean excellence, located in Plymouth, Devon.

I love our Ocean because it is a part of our planet that is largely unexplored. New species of fish and other Ocean animals continue to be discovered every year, with new, evolutionary adaptions often being brought to light. Isn’t that pretty incredible?

Our Ocean is the one thing that connects every person on this planet, regardless of age, religion, ethnicity or income. As a species, we have split the Ocean up, created boundaries, but it flows freely across our beautiful planet, joining everyone together.

The animals that live there have been evolving for 3.5 billion years. Some can see UV light, some change gender, some can punch with such force, it heats the surrounding water to almost the same temperature as the surface of the sun.

I’ve lived in the beautiful ‘Ocean-city’ of Plymouth for my whole life, but spent most of my childhood travelling around Cornwall. We’d spend every day at stunning beaches, rockpooling, swimming and exploring. I was lucky enough to end up surrounded by a pod of wild dolphins while out fishing with my dad and the euphoria has stayed with me, encouraging my love of our Ocean to blossom and grow even more.

Nowadays, I enjoy snorkelling during the warm summer months, but the colder weather doesn’t keep me away in the winter, when you’ll still find me rockpooling in my free time. There’s a common misconception that our shoreline is a bit grey and murky, but I’ve seen fish as colourful as a flowerbed, right on our doorstep. My dream is to see an octopus though – they’re incredibly beautiful!

Swimming over huge seaweed beds and seeing crabs walking below makes me feel like I am flying. Shimmering rainbow sea gooseberries glimmer in the sunlight as they float on by, Ocean currents moving their translucent bodies. It sounds like something from a fairytale but this whole habitat is right on our shoreline!

There are so many ways to get involved with our Ocean, from snorkelling and SCUBA diving, to exploring the strandline and looking for shark and skate eggs! Why not take part in a beach clean and see what treasures you can find while tidying our beautiful beaches?

Let’s all try to do our bit and make small changes to protect and preserve our blue planet, because even the tiniest things add up to have a huge impact that will ultimately benefit us all.

Summer Snell