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Yorkshire's Living Seas

With such a beautifully diverse coastline, the Trust’s Living Seas Awareness and Research team is well placed to deliver their exciting and innovative programme of marine activities.

Living Seas - our vision for marine wildlife and habitats

The problem we face:

Decades of neglect have left our seas damaged and degraded, a shadow of their former diversity and abundance. We urgently need your help to bring them back to life. The next five years are critical. It is literally ‘make or break’ time. With new laws and Government commitments in the offing, we have a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity. If we make the very best of that opportunity, pushing every step of the way, our seas will turn the corner and start to recover their health. If we do not, they will continue on their downward spiral.

In total, the marine environment makes up 70% of our planet, and its functioning is critical in our everyday lives, from the single-celled marine plants called phytoplankton that produce 50% of the planets oxygen to the commercial fisheries that are a source of livelihood and employment for millions of people around the world. However, due to the 3D nature of the marine environment, it has often been seen as inexhaustible and humans have historically removed many of its greatest animals. The majority of its charismatic species are now protected, such as whales, dolphins and basking sharks, but many more are yet to be fully appreciated.

Our vision for the future:

  • Wildlife and habitats are recovering from past decline as our use of the seas’ resources becomes environmentally sustainable.
  • The natural environment is adapting well to a changing climate, and ocean processes are helping to slow down climate change.
  • People are inspired by marine wildlife and value the sea for the many ways in which it supports our quality of life

How we can achieve our vision with your support:

The Yorkshire coastline alone is 45km long and our ‘territorial’ limits extend out from the coastline to 15 nautical miles (approximately 17.2 miles)!  We want to ensure that the marine life within this area and beyond receive the appreciation and protection that it deserves. Through informal public events, research surveys, formal education sessions and awareness campaigns, the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Living Seas team teaches not only about our fantastic marine wildlife, but also the role our seas play in everyday life. The programme has something for everyone to get involved with.