Advocacy for Plymouth Sound raw sewage after ‘limited’ progress at COP26


Calls to stop the discharge of raw sewage into the Plymouth Strait will be made when Britain’s Ocean City councilors meet on Monday.

Labor opposition advisers have tabled three motions to protect the ecology in the city, with concerns raised about the ecology, state of the oceans and stopping sewage discharges into coastal waters and the rivers.

Plymouth Sound is the UK’s first national marine park, and the motion says the city should lead the way in advocating for cleaner waters while preserving the wide variety of jobs that depend on water.

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Cllr Sue Dann, Plymouth Labor spokesperson for climate change and environment, who introduced the wastewater discharge motion, said: “In recent weeks at COP26, there has been progress on some of these issues, but we can’t afford to wait.The city must act now to deal with the climate crisis, the ecological crisis and the reclamation of the oceans.

“Plymouth Sound is the UK’s first National Marine Park (NMP) and we believe our city should lead the way in advocating for cleaner waters while preserving the wide variety of jobs that depend on water. “

His motion will ask the council to write to all local MPs to pressure the Secretary of the Environment to provide a timeline for ending raw sewage discharges to rivers and seas and to write to South West Water for their plans to eradicate the practice from rivers and coastal areas. the areas around Plymouth and the rivers that flow through the city.

The motion also asks council to consider whether the water quality of our city’s bathing waters could be better communicated to the residents of Plymouth so that they can be informed of when it is safe to swim in the sea or the rivers around Plymouth.

Cllr Tudor Evans, head of Plymouth Labor, said it was: the good thing that three of the four Plymouth Labor motions that will be debated at the next meeting focus on the challenges presented by the climate crisis.

“Given the limited progress at COP26, we cannot rest on our laurels here in Plymouth,” said Cllr Evans.

“So it behooves us, as advisers, to keep the pressure on the government to do the right thing and make protecting our planet a priority.”

This comes as in response to the urgent need to reclaim the oceans to mitigate some of the worst impacts of the climate emergency, Plymouth City Councilor and marine social scientist Dr Pamela Buchan has asked Plymouth City Council – and UK advice – to endorse a ‘Motion for the Ocean’ which will recognize the importance of the world’s oceans and the role that local and national governments must play.

The Reclaiming Oceans Declaration Motion, or “Motion for the Ocean,” was developed by Cllr Dr Buchan, Emily Cunningham of the Coastal Special Interest Group of the Association of Local Governments and Nicola Bridge of the Ocean Conservation Trust.

The Marine Trio calls on local governments to align the concept of ocean reclamation with their climate emergency response by accepting the motion and indicating a commitment to ocean reclamation and improving how marine environments are used and managed.

They are also asking individuals to act as citizens of the sea and asking local councilors to support and pass the motion in councils across the country.

The motion calls on the Chief to report to Council of the Whole, consistent with the development of the National Marine Park, on actions and projects that will continue and improve ocean recovery in the Plymouth Sound, and to consider the impact on recovery. oceans in all strategic areas. decisions, budgets and decision-making approaches of the Council (especially in planning, regeneration, skills and economic policy), aligning ocean recovery with climate emergency plans.

Dr Buchan said the Ocean Reclamation Declaration calls on local and national governments to play their part to achieve this goal.

She said the “Motion for the Ocean” embraces the source-to-sea approach, highlighting the direct connection we all have with the sea through rivers and drainage, and the significant impact of carbon emissions. of land-based origin on the health of the oceans, adding: “For too long the ocean has been left out of climate debates and taken for granted by our island nation.

“The weight of ocean-focused events at COP26 shows that the tide is turning and people and politicians are starting to understand that we cannot mitigate the impacts of climate change without addressing the way we use and manage our coastal environments. and oceanic. “

And a third motion, also presented by Cllr Dann, calls on Plymouth City Council to define its own policy framework to take into account the ecological crisis the country is facing due to the climate crisis.

He says: “We can make decisions to increase the health, abundance, diversity and resilience of species, populations, habitats and ecosystems, in order to restore natural ecosystems in accordance with decisions to limit our carbon emissions. . “

The plenary council of Plymouth City Council meets on Monday 22 November from 2 p.m.

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