Kicking off on Saturday, 25th May and running until 2nd June, the Ocean conservation charity’s Challenge Week will shine a spotlight on the raft of issues currently facing our Ocean – from plastic pollution to climate change – and encourage visitors to become Ocean Heroes by making small changes to their daily lives.
The activities running throughout the week will include an exciting trail taking visitors on an underwater journey through the Aquarium, educating them about the everyday things many of us do that can negatively impact on the Ocean – from leaving the lights on to purchasing single-use plastics – and challenging them to take small actions that can help to make a positive change.
In addition to the trail, visitors will be invited to take part in a range of fun and educational games throughout the week, as well as making their own pledges about what they plan to do to help our Ocean.
Freyja Thomson, Public and Community Engagement Coordinator at the National Marine Aquarium, said:
“We’re excited to be gearing up for yet another lively Half Term here at the NMA and have lots of fun activities planned – though as an Ocean conservation charity, there is a serious message to communicate, too. There are a number of pressing issues currently facing our Ocean, from climate change to plastic pollution, but the great news is that we can all do something to help.
“Our Half Term Challenge Week aims to convey this to our visitors in a fun and engaging way, giving them all some ideas to take away with them as to how they can become a part of the solution.”
As the UK’s oldest Ocean conservation charity, the NMA has been working hard over its twenty-year history on its mission of connecting people with the Ocean through a mix of education and communication, engaging with the public, schools and the wider community in a bit to inspire positive change. Its Half Term Challenge Week is just the latest in a long line of events and activities designed to get people interacting with it.
Helen Gowans, Public and Community Engagement Manager, said:
“Many people still don’t fully understand the importance of the Ocean and its impact upon their lives and in turn, their impact upon on it. As an Ocean conservation charity, it is our goal to change that.
“The Ocean sustains all life on Earth and is what makes our planet habitable – and with 50% of the oxygen we breathe coming from the Ocean, it is really is vital that we protect it. It supports a great diversity of life and ecosystems and is also a major influence on weather and climate.
“We are all connected to the Ocean, and so it’s really important to us to help people understand that – and empower them to make that positive change in their lives to protect it.”
Lottie Hawkins, Public & Community Engagement Coordinator, added:
“The great news is that it really is the small changes that can make a big difference to the health of our Ocean – from walking or cycling to school or work instead of taking public transport or turning the lights off each time you leave a room, to eating one meat free meal a day. Many people don’t realise that doing these things can add up to a much larger impact, and our May Half Term Challenge Week is designed to help them to make that connection.”
With over 4,000 Ocean animals to see and a range of breath-taking exhibits to explore, visitors during May Half Term will have plenty to see and do in addition to the Challenge Week activities. And, with the Sutton Harbour bridge now open and restoring a vital link with Plymouth’s historic Barbican, there has never been a better time to visit.