I have recently outlined my commitment to our local coastline. Working in tandem with Fareham Borough Council and the Portchester ‘Litter Ladies’, I have outlined an agenda to tackle the marine litter crisis that has become a blight to our shores. Due to its position at the head of Portsmouth Harbour, Portchester's coastline has suffered disproportionately from marine waste deposits, whilst also experiencing an increased proliferation of rubbish dumping and littering.
Portchester locals Mike, Claire and Emma, representing the Litter Ladies have contributed to the ongoing talks regarding a watertight action plan, with both the Council and myself. All three parties have begun to work towards a multifaceted strategy which centres education, conservation, and local participation. I would love for you as Portchester and Fareham residents to get involved.
The initial meetings have proved fruitful and following the success of the inaugural 600-person strong beach clean last year, all parties have committed to further community cleans. Community beach cleans play a vital part in tackling beach litter directly & educating communities on preventing beach litter at source. Similarly, all parties want to encourage beachgoers to take their litter home, whilst discussing options for prominently placed refuse bins close to the shore, so that individuals can act themselves.
Similarly,we are looking to encourage a coordinated education programme, which will draw from the foundations set by the Surfers Against Sewage ‘Seas For Life’ schools education programme. Such a programme would cover the latest campaigns on water quality, marine litter, climate change, toxic chemicals, shipping and coastal wave protection. It would also address the concept of citizenship and how students can have a positive impact on the marine environment to contribute to safeguarding fisheries, oceans, waves and beaches, and other coastal assets.
Furthermore, we are looking to encourage Fareham to reduce its reliance on single use plastics. This could mean the avoidance of single-use plastic items like carrier bags, bottled water, disposable plastic cutlery, single use coffee cups and their replacement with reusable alternatives. Both myself and the Fareham Borough Council will look to work closely with local businesses in the coming months to address microplastic pollution.
Finally, drawing from the expertise of local resident Mike Moore, myself and Fareham Borough Council will be further investigating potential long-term conservation mitigation strategies. These could include coastline reclamation and conservation landscaping, to tackle the issue head on and create a sustainable space for Portchester’s residents.
In Fareham we are blessed with a spectacular coastline, including the imposing Portchester Castle. As your MP I want to make a profound commitment to keeping our community clean and restoring our shores to their natural beauty. I am looking forward to engaging in further meetings with the Litter Ladies in the coming months, alongside Fareham Borough Council, to discuss further mitigation measures. Similarly, I will be working tirelessly over the coming weeks to devise and implement a watertight conservation strategy for 2021. This strategy will draw from a diverse range of sources including residential inputs, professional conservation expertise and council resources.
I was delighted to hear of the 600 or so volunteers that participated in the inaugural Portchester Beach clean last year and it is my desire to keep up this momentum. I have also been heartened by the impressive scale of interest in local environmental issues, and I want to encourage any constituents who wish to get involved or have any thoughts or suggestions to get in contact with me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or please do get in contact with the Litter Ladies via their Facebook page.
Together we can make a really difference to our community's coastline, through an action plan that centres education, conservation and local participation.