Stronger Shores launch

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On the 25th of October, South Tyneside Council hosted the Stronger Shores launch event at the Little Haven Hotel, South Shields. We welcomed a variety of speakers, stakeholders, partners, colleagues, and Elected Members to celebrate the project, and share experiences and expertise. The room was buzzing with incredible talent, passion, and support.

We were delighted to debut brand-new Stronger Shores film with those in attendance on the evening. The team have worked closely with Gardiner Richardson to produce this powerful film which encapsulates the aims and objectives of Stronger Shores whilst showcasing a variety of the brilliant work already taking place.

It was great to have representatives and speakers join us from South Tyneside Council including: the Mayor of South Tyneside, Cllr John Mcabe; the Leader of the Council, Cllr Tracey Dixon; Member for Neighbourhoods and Climate Change, Cllr Ernest Gibson; and CEO Jonathan Tew. The event was chaired by Laura Turvey, Senior Manager – Sustainability and Chair of Stronger Shores.

We were very lucky to be joined by empowering guest speakers who delivered fantastic presentations. Professor Pip Moore joined us from Newcastle University and delivered a very interesting and engaging presentation on “The wave attenuation potential of marine vegetated habitats: closing the evidence gap.”  Pip is part of the supervisory team for the three Newcastle PhD students funded through Stronger Shores and presented an excellent overview of the benefits kelp can have on our coastal waters and shorelines.

Another presentation was delivered by the talented Wave Crookes, who was joined by Laura Robinson from SeaGrown in Scarborough, where a first-of its kind offshore seaweed farm grows kelp all year round in the clean, cold, open waters of the North Sea. Wave presented an interesting perspective on how growing seaweed using an aquaculture system could have a role to play in increasing the resilience of the coastline to climate change.

We were also joined by representatives from Northumbria University’s Business Clinic, Nicola Burnip and Nigel Coates, who introduced a film that was produced by talented students from the University. Previously this year, the students rose to the challenge of producing a short animation for a young people about kelp, oyster, and seagrass habitats. We were delighted to share the film with the audience which was well received as a straightforward way to understand Stronger Shores and its potential to help the planet.

Andrew Eden from the Environment Agency attended, representing the Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme. Andy used this opportunity to share the excellent progress being made across the country, and provided insight as to how these projects will influence future decision making and have a national impact.

A huge thanks is also owed to our delivery partners who joined us on the night: Tees Rivers Trust; University of Plymouth; Newcastle University; The Wild Oysters Project; and North Sea Wildlife Trusts.

We are still on a high from the event. This is just the start of Stronger Shores and we can’t wait to see what the future holds. Thank you to everyone who joined us to celebrate the project, and explore its potential to protect our shores and make them stronger.

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