According to the Marine Conservation Society, 77% of people who visited coastal areas in the last 12 months said they felt happier, and 81% of people said they felt healthier when they were by the coast and sea!
Unfortunately, there are some equally scary statistics highlighting the danger our marine environments are in. The UK has lost up to 92% of its seagrass in the last century. Every year, 8 and 13 million tonnes of plastics enter our seas. Globally, some areas of our oceans now contain six times more microplastics than plankton!
So, what can you do to help us to protect our Marine and Wildlife?
Here are some simple things you can do to help protect Marine and Wildlife on the Yorkshire Coast
1. Mind Your Carbon Footprint
Little changes can make a big difference; if you are doing Route YC by car, why not leave it at your accommodation and explore the area by cycling or walking for a day or 2? Not only will you get to see more when getting off the main routes, but it will probably save you more ££ by using less fuel, meaning you can enjoy more time in the great restaurants and cafes throughout the area!
2. Make Safe, Sustainable Seafood Choices
Global fish populations are rapidly depleted due to demand, loss of habitat, and unsustainable fishing practices. When shopping or dining out, help reduce the demand for overexploited species by choosing seafood that is both healthful and sustainable. There are brilliant places throughout the Yorkshire Coast that advertise this on their menus, and if you are on the Whitby route, check out the work being undertaken by the Whitby Lobster Hatchery.
3. Use Fewer Plastic Products
Plastics that end up as ocean debris contribute to habitat destruction and entangle and kill tens of thousands of marine animals each year. To limit your impact, carry a reusable water bottle, store food in non-disposable containers, bring your own cloth tote or another reusable bag when shopping, and recycle whenever possible. #RefillRevolution refill.org.uk
4. Leave no Trace
Whether you enjoy diving, surfing, relaxing on the beach, or walking in the woods, always clean up after yourself. Explore and appreciate the Yorkshire Coast without interfering with wildlife or removing rocks and fossils. Go even further by encouraging others to respect the marine environment or by participating in local beach clean-ups.
5. Admire from afar
It can be tempting to want to get up close to some of the amazing wild and marine life, but it is always safer for you and them, to admire from afar. You can find out about the amazing conservation work that is taking place throughout the area here, and more about coastal favourites, like Puffins and Seals and what NOT to do, to keep them safe.