The Ocean Conservation Trust is a global Ocean conservation charity, we are acting now towards our vision of a healthy Ocean for all. Over our 21 year history, we have led and partnered on a wide variety of research programmes and projects that contribute to our vision of a healthy Ocean for all.
Our research programme is broadly divided into habitat restoration and behaviour change research, recognising that in most cases, human behaviour is the reason that habitats require restoration and that people everywhere can play their part in protecting the marine environment. Due to operating the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, UK, we also conduct a range of projects linked to aquatic animal husbandry (e.g. water chemistry, enrichment, behaviour, breeding).
We are known for our research into the human health and wellbeing benefits of aquatic environments, as well as our monitoring and evaluation work both in natural sciences (10 year monitoring programme of colonization of the Scylla Wreck) and social science (10 year learning outcome programme at National Marine Aquarium).
Our most current habitat and species based research is on the restoration of UK seagrass beds and scallop aquaculture. We have built the world’s first seagrass propagation lab at the NMA, allowing thousands of people to see Ocean science in action.
In terms of Ocean Literacy research, in 2020 we have funded and contributed to an evidence synthesise – Understanding Ocean Literacy and Ocean Related Behaviour Change in the UK. This synthesis will contribute to two work packages lead by Defra, designed to investigate pro-Ocean indicators and Ocean Literacy levels in the general public. We are connected with Ocean literacy networks across the globe, and are working towards making a significant contribution to Ocean Literacy for the upcoming UN Decade of Ocean Science.
We are experts in the field of Ocean engagement and education. We bring the Ocean to life for millions of people on our social media channels and in person at the NMA, leading them on a conservation pathway from engagement and discovery, to simple pro-Ocean behaviours that can be integrated into daily life. Since the Aquarium opened its doors, an evaluated outcome of our engagement has been to promote a positive view of Ocean science and scientists.
Nicola Bridge is a Conservation Biologist, and Head of Conservation Education and Communications at the Ocean Conservation Trust (OCT). She has over 14 years’ experience in the field of conservation, environmental education and ocean literacy. She is responsible for developing and evaluating the formal and informal conservation learning programmes for the Trust and as well as this, she is responsible for the Marketing and Communications strategy for both the OCT and National Marine Aquarium. Nicola spearhead the We Are Ocean network, bringing together Ocean Literacy practitioners from around the UK to share in the vision of an Ocean