Newhaven youngster Jack Bowes, 8, is encouraging Sussex residents to clean up their beaches and remove the marine litter that is blighting our coastline and endangering marine life.
Jack, who attends Southdown Junior School in Newhaven, was so inspired by a school talk given by the Marine Conservation Society that he went straight home to his ask his mum if he could go and pick up litter on his local beach.
The talk, held at Grays Infants School for a number of local primary school pupils earlier this week, was part of conservation specialist Planet Whale’s campaign to raise awareness of marine conservation in the run up to WhaleFest 2012 which takes place next week.
Whilst Jack has always been passionate about wildlife (at age 5 he asked to sponsor a Western Lowland Gorilla in danger of extinction as his birthday present) it was the bucket full of marine litter brought to his school as part of the talk which motivated him to do something to help marine life.
Along with his mum, Jack filled up three large black bin sacks of litter from Newhaven beach, rubbish ranging from flip flops, socks and gloves to plastic bottles, cans and netting, in just an hour. Shocked by the amount of litter on the beach, Jack plans to return and continue his work as soon as possible.
Jack, of Hillcrest Road in Newhaven, says: “The talk at my school made me realise how much damage our litter is causing to the marine life and I wanted to help however I could. I was shocked by how much litter was on the beach and I am trying to get my classmates to come and help me clean the rest of the beach. I love whales and dolphins and I can’t wait to find out more about them at WhaleFest next weekend!”
Hearing about Jack’s enthusiasm for conservation, the Planet Whale team behind WhaleFest has given his family free entry to WhaleFest as a thank you for his hard work.
WhaleFest 2012 will be the largest celebration of wild whales and dolphins in the world and this year’s event will be jam packed with exciting activities for visitors of all ages including:
• 35 life size whales and dolphins, not to mention sharks, seals and turtles!
• The chance to try scuba diving in the crystal waters of the dive pool
• Get splashed on a real-time virtual whale watching trip
• ‘Ocean Storytelling’ by acclaimed authors including Lauren St John, Nicola Davis and Gill Lewis
Bill Oddie, renowned conservationist and television presenter, Doug Allan, BBC Frozen Planet cameraman, Mark Carwardine from ‘Last Chance to See’ with Stephen Fry, and Ingrid Visser, from the BBC documentary ‘The Woman Who Swims with Killer Whales’, are amongst those well known supporters who will be attending and speaking at the event.
WhaleFest 2012 also has a serious message to share. Held at The Hilton Brighton Metropole hotel, the event marks the 30th anniversary of the world’s governments vote to suspend the hunting of whales, which was announced outside the hotel in 1982.
Thirty years later, Planet Whale will be inviting the public to support its new campaign – Save The Whales: Reloaded. The campaign aims for the first time ever, to bring people across the globe together to help identify the next generation of Marine Protected Areas.
Advance tickets to WhaleFest are now available from £9 per adult at www.whale-fest.com. FREE entry for children under 16 all weekend.