Announcement of a new round of funding for Community Marine Studies

The second round of a Community Marine Equipment Fund was launched this month to help local communities and groups get involved in monitoring Scotland’s seabed and coast.

The Community Marine Monitoring Equipment Fund provides support for groups across Scotland to purchase equipment to record and monitor their local marine life.

The aim of the project is to enable communities and local groups to gain the skills, experience and knowledge to participate in biodiversity surveys in Scotland, helping to improve knowledge of species and habitats sailors.

Individual grants of up to £1500 will be offered for entry-level equipment such as ID guides, quadrats and GoPros. Larger grants of up to £3,000 are available for joint applications between two or more groups.

The second cycle of the Community Fund for marine surveillance equipment has been launched.

Applications should emphasize community and/or youth involvement in marine monitoring and will be assessed on a rolling basis with a closing date of June 1, 2023.

Previous rounds have provided £34,000 in funding since 2019 to 22 organisations, ranging from Berwickshire Marine Reserve to Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST), Knoydart Ranger Service, Shark and Skate Conservation Scotland and Friends of the Sound of Jura. .

These groups have used funds to purchase equipment, including for surveys of native oysters, clamshell rays, sharks, whales, and other marine habitats and species.

The project is a partnership between NatureScot, Fauna and Flora International (FFI), communities, local groups and individuals, with financial support from the William Grant Foundation.

Lucy Cotgrove, NatureScot project manager, said: “People living in coastal communities in Scotland have told us they want to be more involved in protecting marine life, but may not have lack the necessary equipment and resources to perform the monitoring.

“We encourage local communities and groups to ask us for any survey equipment that will help them. The coasts and lochs of Scotland are special places for marine habitats and wildlife, and the information the volunteers collect is areas and help make decisions about how to protect them.

“It also gives communities a way to contribute and play their part in protecting our marine environment”

Rebecca Plant, Fauna and Flora International’s project manager for Scotland, said: “Coastal communities across Scotland are well placed to harness solutions to ensure healthy and well-managed seas, and many communities seek to play a greater role in decisions regarding the local and national navy. management.

“Collecting marine data through surveys and monitoring is a key process that underpins decision-making, but there are barriers to community involvement.

“We hope that the Community-Based Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Collaborative Project will strengthen participation in community-led marine data collection through the Equipment Fund and Monitoring Manual, enabling communities to play their part in the management of their local waters.”

Nick Addington, Chief Executive of the William Grant Foundation, said: “We have seen evidence of the effectiveness of modern investigative technology in the hands of community volunteers.

“We are delighted to support this fund to give more communities the opportunity to contribute to the knowledge of their coasts and local waters. »

There is more information on the NatureScot website for applicants, who can also contact [email protected] with any questions.

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