Motion for the Ocean

A model Motion for the Ocean to help local authorities play their part in realising a clean, healthy and productive ocean and all of the direct economic, health and wellbeing benefits it will bring.

Calling all Councillors and Local Government Officers!

The LGA Coastal SIG supports the Motion for the Ocean initiative, developed by ocean experts Emily Cunningham (formerly LGA Coastal SIG Lead Officer), Dr Pamela Buchan (former Plymouth City Councillor) and Nicola Bridge (Ocean Conservation Trust) to co-develop a model Motion for the Ocean.

This is in recognition that our ocean and climate are in a state of emergency, that the communities we serve are on the frontline, and that local government has an essential and urgent part to play in tackling these interconnected crises.

Many local authorities have already declared a climate emergency; yet the ocean is missing from many of our climate action plans. As we reflect on the outcomes of COP26, one message from the UK government stands out for all of us working at the coast:

A healthy ocean is an essential ally in our fight against climate change”.

The UK government’s recent Marine Strategy assessment confirms that our marine environment is not healthy. An ocean in crisis is not only bad news for our climate, but also for our fishing industry, aquaculture industry, tourism industry and for the health, wellbeing and prosperity of our coastal communities. Ocean recovery would yield new jobs and opportunities, more resilient coastal economies, and happier, heathier people.

Local government can’t fix the ocean crisis alone. But we do need to play our part.

The wording for the motion is long, because for many people this is a new way of thinking. But its goals are simple. This model Motion for the Ocean has been developed to help local authorities play their part in realising a clean, healthy and productive ocean and all of the direct economic, health and wellbeing benefits it will bring. It also helps local authorities communicate the same evidence-based asks around ocean recovery directly to central government – ensuring a louder united voice.

The model motion should be considered as a template to be adapted to local circumstances. By clicking on the map icons for each council, you will be directed to their motion (where available).

The following councils have declared an urgent need for ocean recovery using a locally adapted motion for the ocean, please click on “Motion” to be directed to their Motion information or click on the tabs on the map:

  • Plymouth City Council, 22 November 2021 – Motion
  • Falmouth Town Council, 10 January 2022 – Motion
  • South Tyneside Council, 13 January 2022 – Motion
  • North Norfolk District Council, 9 February 2022 – Motion
  • North Devon Council, 23 February 2022 – Motion
  • Monmouthshire County Council, 3 March 2022 – Motion
  • Devon County Council, 9 March 2022 – Motion
  • Seaton with Slingley Parish Council, 16 March 2022 – Motion
  • Seaham Town Council – 22 March 2022 – Motion
  • Torridge District Council – 6 June 2022 – Motion
  • Portsmouth City Council – 17 May 2022 – Motion
  • Blandford Forum Town Council – 25 July 2022 – Motion
  • Teignbridge District Council – 26 July 2022 – Motion
  • Local Government Association – 29 September 2022 – Motion

Made with Padlet

We hope others will soon follow in tabling a Motion for the Ocean at their own Councils.

Interested in what the motion could look like for your council? The model motions for coastal/estuarine and inland councils can be downloaded opposite.

Want to know more about the Motion for the Ocean?

Please watch this presentation by Emily Cunningham for further details and please get in touch if your council would like to consider declaring for ocean recovery.