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!

Over the past year, LGA Coastal SIG Lead Officer, Emily Cunningham has been working with other marine experts, Cllr Dr Pamela Buchan (Plymouth City Council and a marine social scientist) 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.

The following councils have declared an urgent need for ocean recovery using a locally adapted motion for the ocean:

  • Plymouth City Council, 22 November 2021
  • Falmouth Town Council, 10 January 2022
  • South Tyneside Council, 13 January 2022
  • North Norfolk District Council, 9 February 2022
  • North Devon Council, 23 February 2022
  • Monmouthshire County Council, 3 March 2022
  • Seaton with Slingley Parish Council, 16 March 2022
  • Seaham Town Council – 22 March 2022

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? Download the document opposite to see our model motion.

South Tyneside’s declaration for Ocean Recovery

Click on the image opposite to see coverage on the #Motion4TheOcean declaration by South Tyneside Council.