Microplastic pollution in Chichester Harbour explored at symposium, as journey to solutions begins

Microplastics in Chichester Harbour will be considered at a free symposium, open to academics, researchers and industry professionals.

Expert guest speakers have been lined up for the event, chaired by oceanographer, physicist and broadcaster Dr Helen Czerski.

On the water in Chichester Harbour, with the view to Kingley Vale. Picture: Elaiine Hammond

On the water in Chichester Harbour, with the view to Kingley Vale. Picture: Elaiine Hammond

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The aim is to highlight recent research on the prevalence and significance of microplastic contamination in Chichester Harbour.

This symposium, funded by Ignite, will draw together the findings of University of Brighton and closely-related research from other universities and organisations to gain further understanding of the issues, identify shortfalls in knowledge, raise awareness and embark on the journey to solutions.

Chichester Harbour Conservancy will be hosting the symposium at Chichester Yacht Club in Birdham on Tuesday, July 9, from 9.30am to 3.45pm.

Richard Craven, conservancy director and Chichester harbour master, will give a talk explaining how Chichester Harbour is a microcosm of the wider ocean.

He said: “A healthy environment is vital to support the important wildlife that relies on the Harbour, as well as the recreational activities that so many of us enjoy.

“The conservancy has been focussed on improving water quality for a generation, but the lesser known issue of microplastics and microfibres has, up until now, largely been hidden from view.

“With new insights, we have been working with local universities to reveal how widespread this pollution is and its true impact.

“The symposium will consider the results of that research and embark on the journey to solutions.”

Other key speakers include marine biologist Dr Corina Ciocan, who will talk about what lies beneath our waters and give evidence of widespread microplastic pollution in Chichester Harbour.

David Jones, founder of Just One Ocean, will explain how people power can be used to help our understanding of microplastics.

To register, call 01243 513275. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. An optional boat trip in Chichester Harbour is available from 4pm to 5pm.

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