Mourant, the law firm-led professional services business, has continued its support of UK ocean conservation charity Blue Marine Foundation and the Jersey charity Ocean Culture Life, as part of the firm’s ongoing commitment to the Mourant Ocean Pledge launched in 2021.
An important strand of both these operations’ work is to raise awareness amongst Jersey’s next generation of the incredible importance of the ocean and how to protect it as the planet’s most precious resource.
In Blue Marine’s education programme, pupils were taught about Jersey’s marine environment, why it’s important and what can be done to protect it. It was delivered to approximately 180 children when it was first launched in 2022. With the support of Mourant, this year the programme has expanded to reach over 400 children across a further 11 Jersey primary schools – covering over half of the island’s primary schools in the two years it has been in operation.
A complementary ocean education programme for Jersey schoolchildren was also delivered by Ocean Culture Life (OCL), designed to coincide with World Ocean Week on 6th and 7th June 2023.
OCL’s World Ocean Day education workshops explored marine ecosystems to understand the impact of climate change on our oceans and emphasised the importance of protecting and preserving it. Pupils were shown the impact of plastic pollution, overfishing, and climate change on marine life.
OCL Co-Founder, Tamsin Raine, commented: “Teaching the next generation about the significance of our oceans is crucial for their future and the future of our planet. Delivering our ocean education programme was an incredibly rewarding experience. By the end of the day, we could see a spark in the eyes of these young learners. They had not only gained knowledge about the ocean but had also developed a genuine passion for its conservation. We hope this will go some way to inspire and empower young people to become stewards of the ocean, driving positive change for generations to come.”
Daniel Birtwistle, Managing Partner of the Mourant Jersey office, said: “We’re delighted to have been able to further support Blue Marine and OCL to deliver their education outreach programmes this year. Living on an island, the ocean is embedded in our local culture and plays a huge role in the lives of many children, which is why it’s crucial to foster this connection at an early age and educate our next generation on the importance of marine conservation.
“Understanding our role in protecting the ocean is vitally important for us at Mourant. We continue to support numerous marine conservation initiatives and uphold our Mourant Ocean Pledge, which demonstrates our ongoing commitment to preserving this precious resource.”
The children also attended a pool session with Jersey-based Bouley Bay Dive Centre to familiarise themselves with snorkel equipment, as well as safe, responsible snorkelling practices. The programme concluded with a sea snorkeling session, which enabled them to put into practice the skills and knowledge they learnt.
Kathryn Smith, Jersey Project Officer at Blue Marine Foundation, said: “We are thrilled to be running the snorkel trail education programme for a second year, thanks to the continued support from Mourant. The initiative has been an enormous success and very well received by pupils and teachers alike. It’s an incredibly exciting opportunity that many of the children haven’t experienced before, with the programme not only teaching them valuable skills and knowledge, and ultimately inspiring the next generation.”
Toyah Tomkins, Manager of Bouley Bay Dive Centre, added: “We are delighted to be involved with the education programme for a second year running. The success of the initiative really is a testament to how providing access to something so simple, such as snorkelling, can have such a positive effect on younger generations. As the future stewards of our ocean, it’s vital for these children to develop that connection and understand the importance of protecting our seas.”