The clean-up projects look to reach remote areas from the sea, removing the build-up of rubbish to make them better environments for Jersey’s protected species. The organisation purchased a rib last year, enabling them to schedule trips at shorter notice in response to weather conditions. With the grant of £1,500 from the Skipton Community Fund they have now been able to cover the cost of equipment such as dry suits, snorkels and a sled to tow heavier or sharp objects, as well as covering the expense of taking the rib out on the seas.
Kevin Mcllwee, Chairman of the Jersey Marine Conservation said: “We can’t thank Skipton enough for their generous contribution through the Community Fund. Taking trips out on the rib is not an easy task, but this donation has removed the worry of cost for at least a dozen excursions, allowing us to complete a second successful year of the project.
“As a community, Jersey is very good at keeping the beaches clean and although this holds tremendous value it is often remote areas that get overlooked where deposits of rubbish are causing distress to the marine habitat. These are the areas that we focus our attention on.”
Lorraine Mclean and Chantelle Teixeria from the Skipton Mortgage Centre joined Kevin on an operation to learn more about the conservation work carried out.
Lorraine said: “Meeting with Kevin was certainly an eye-opening experience. Like many, I’ve come to think of Jersey as having some of the best and cleanest beaches in the world, not realising the extent of pockets of waste that can build up out of the public’s sight. This is such a fantastic project to support and I would urge more people to come along and help the Jersey Marine Conservation keep our Island looking beautiful.”
As well as battling weather conditions, one of the other challenges Jersey Marine Conservation faces is finding willing volunteers. Kevin said: “We are always on the lookout for individuals with relevant qualifications in this field, such as divers and power boat drivers. But equally, there are plenty of opportunities for any individuals to get involved and they needn’t get in the water. We would welcome anyone with an interest in protecting our coastlines and the environment to get in touch.”
The Skipton Community Fund has helped 22 local charities and not for profit organisations this year. The Fund looks to support smaller organisations on specific projects that will benefit the wider Island community and contribute to making Jersey a great place to live.
Skipton is now accepting applications for the Skipton Community Fund for 2019. Further details can be found on their website www.skiptoninternational.com