Who’s heard of the Blue Belt?

OK pay attention at the back: who’s heard of the Blue Belt? Not the Green Belt. Blue.

I suppose the clue’s in the name, particularly for the millions of us who’ve been glued to David Attenborough’s Blue Planet 2, which highlighted the awful damage caused by plastic polluting our seas.

We in Weston are doing our bit already, of course. The Cleaner Coastlines project has seen local folk getting involved in mammoth beach cleans to get rid of plastic and other junk. Weston beach may be sparkling already (natch!) but other bits of local coast need help as well.

But what about the rest of the planet? It’s a global problem, and most of us want to save the whole thing, so our children and grandchildren can enjoy it too.

That’s where the Blue Belt Project comes in. They are trying to create a truly-enormous set of marine nature reserves around British-owned islands like the South Sandwich Islands, Pitcairn Island and others. If it works, it would be the largest marine protected area (a whopping 4 million square kilometres) in the world, protecting a fourth of the world’s penguin population and the largest coral atoll on the planet, not to mention endangered whales and turtles.

The good news is, we don’t need local people to turn out and clean them up, like our beaches here at home. Instead they’ll use the latest satellite technology and new international laws to monitor and protect huge swathes of untouched, pristine ocean and seabed around these tiny specks of British territory.

So we can enjoy not just Weston beach, but save a big chunk of the planet at the same time. Think global, act local, as the saying goes!

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