Chichester Harbour is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and is of national and international importance for nature conservation. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a wetland of international importance (Ramsar site), a Special Protection Area for wild birds and a Special Area of Conservation. It is also important commercially for farming, fishing, boatyards and tourism.
As part of a wider research project being undertaken at the University of Portsmouth to ascertain the impact of microplastics in the coastal community we organised a citizen science survey of the beaches at the entrance to the harbour.
Through social media and this website we recruited volunteers from the local area, some even coming from Bournemouth 70 miles away. As well as local residents we also had volunteers from Natural England and the Environment Agency.
Around 80 people turned up to lend a hand and collect microplastics from the sand and pebbles on the East Head and Hayling sides of the harbour entrance. Work in sorting out the data collected is still ongoing, however, it is likely to be published into a scientific article in the future. There is still plenty of work to be done in establishing the scientific data needed to drive policy and this is something the Just One Ocean is committed to.