A WILDLIFE trust that has received thousands of pounds in Heritage Lottery funding says that it will take action to protect marine life.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust was awarded a £640,300 Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant, which it will use to deliver a new programme to cut down on pollution and protect sensitive areas of the Solent.
The Secrets of the Solent project will raise awareness of the rarer underwater wildlife in the surrounding area, from seagrass meadows to colourful anemones.
The trust hopes that this scheme will also lead to less pollution and plastic litter, more sustainable seafood for nearby fisheries and improved legal protections.
Tim Ferrero, marine policy specialist at the trust, said: ‘Many people think our local seas are devoid of life, but that’s so far from the truth.
‘There are some incredible and precious underwater landscapes just off our coast – seagrass meadows, chalk reefs and rocky sponge gardens, which are home to sea bass, seals, colourful anemones, sea squirts and cuttlefish.
‘Without action, the Solent could lose all its fantastic natural treasures.
‘If we are going to turn the tide and improve the Solent’s fortunes, we need people to appreciate what’s at stake and take action to care for the sea.
‘We are excited to work with others to ensure that the Solent is something we can continue to love and be proud of for generations to come.’