UKSA, the charity and maritime training centre, has announced a new partnership with Final Straw Solent in a bid to increase awareness of ocean health and the devastating impact plastic pollution has on our seas.

Young people training at UKSA will learn about sustainability and ocean health thanks to presentations on plastic pollution and planned activities during all training courses. Each student will learn why it is essential to protect the oceans and what key steps can be taken to actively minimise pollution. It is estimated that in 2019 6000 young people will be a part of the initiative at the Isle of Wight based centre.

CEO of UKSA Ben Willows said: “Here at UKSA we are passionate about actively minimising plastic pollution and, thanks to the high number of young people coming through our doors each year, we are well placed to deliver the vital message of ocean health to the next generation.”

The partnership with Final Straw is the latest initiative demonstrating UKSA’s commitment to reducing the use of plastic. UKSA has operated a single-use plastic free site since June 2018, replacing plastic cups and sandwich containers with compostable and reusable packaging. In December of 2018, UKSA installed a Seabin on a floating dock in the UKSA marina, the first on Isle of Wight shores. The Seabin intercepts floating debris, trapping it in a catch bag to be disposed of properly.

UKSA Ambassador, renowned yachtswoman and ocean health campaigner, Dee Caffari MBE, said: “It has been said many times before but our best defence against the deterioration of our ocean’s health is, in fact, education. This collaboration will bring the topic of ocean health and sustainable best practice to the forefront of every young person training in Cowes. As UKSA is helping to produce the future generation of sailors, this is a huge step forwards ensuring we can be confident that our oceans, coasts and waterways will be in safe hands. Awareness, understanding and then a passion to help create positive change is important, and together UKSA and Final Straw Solent can do this. I am excited about this partnership.” 

Final Straw Solent founder Bianca Carr is delighted to be partnering with UKSA and said: “Final Straw Solent is a non-profit environmental organisation that works with businesses and communities to raise awareness of plastic pollution in the oceans and to encourage positive behaviours to help our environment and ocean health. Partnering with UKSA is an amazing opportunity to reach young sailors.”

Ben Willows concluded: “Both organisations believe that a determined and long-standing commitment to sustainability will result in a real difference to the health of our oceans and we hope that through this partnership we can push ocean health to the top of everyone’s agenda. Our ultimate goal would be to make all generations of sailors into motivated and conscientious guardians of the sea.”

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