Unique Sea State Insight Offered to Families, Ferry Passengers

The University of Portsmouth's Revolution Plastics Institute and Institute of Marine Sciences has partnered with Wightlink to bring vital environmental lessons to families, holidaymakers and ferry passengers this weekend.

More than 50 events are scheduled at Western Gardens near Ryde Pier and onboard Wightlink's St Clare ferry to celebrate the award of UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status, recognising the Island's ecological and cultural importance and explaining why it matters.

Three quarters of the Island's surface and all of its coastline and inshore waters are specially protected for their nationally and internationally important landscapes and habitat.

The University of Portsmouth workshops will include hands-on experiments, demonstrations, and immersive experiences, focusing on the impact of microplastics on the environment and marine life.

The University is home to the Revolution Plastics Institute, where a world-leading team of experts urgently confront the global plastics crisis through inclusive, solutions-focused research and innovation.

By involving families and ferry passengers in these hands-on scientific activities, we hope to raise awareness about marine biodiversity and the pervasive issue of microplastic pollution.

Dr Ian Hendy, University of Portsmouth's Institute of Marine Sciences

Dr Ian Hendy, from the Institute of Marine Sciences, said: "By involving families and ferry passengers in these hands-on scientific activities, we hope to raise awareness about marine biodiversity and the pervasive issue of microplastic pollution. It's about fostering a deeper connection with our environment and inspiring proactive steps to protect it."

Georgios Georgiou from the Revolution Plastics Institute, added: "The amount of plastic production is expected to quadruple by 2050, which will lead to even greater levels of microplastics in the environment. We hope to provide a valuable learning experience for passengers travelling to and from the IoW. Especially for children, as they are the next generation it's important they realise the threat of microplastics on themselves and the environment."

Saturday and Sunday 29th-30th June: Workshops on Wightlink Ferries

Education takes to the water on Wightlink's St Clare ferry. On Saturday and Sunday, passengers will have the unique opportunity to engage in microplastic experiments during their 45-minute crossing between Portsmouth and Fishbourne. The activities include using sieves to find microplastics in sand and observe how these particles float. Sessions aim to encourage people to think about the everyday products that contribute to plastic pollution and suggest alternative solutions to minimise their environmental impact.

Saturday 29th June: Workshops at Western Gardens, Ryde

On Saturday morning, the team from the University's Institute of Marine Sciences will be at

the Western Gardens near the entrance to Wightlink's Ryde Pier from 10am to 4pm. They will showcase their marine biodiversity and restoration research, further educating the public on the importance of protecting our marine environments.

Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield said: "As our ferries sail through some of the UK's most beautiful coastal waters, we are delighted to highlight the importance of marine life to Biosphere Festival visitors. Our partnership with the University of Portsmouth also involves our Island partner schools where young people are learning more about the environment."

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